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October 9

Lisa Giacumo photo

Lisa Giacumo, along with Jeroen Breman, the learning and development coordinator for GridU (the corporate university of Northwest Lineman College) offered a crowdcast on Oct. 1 for the Training, Learning and Development Community on designing for a global audience.

For a replay of this crowdcast, visit the TLDC crowdcast page.

October 3, 2018

Celebrating 30 years

The Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) department started out as an MS degree program in Instructional & Performance Technology (IPT) in 1988. In that same year, the program received a grant for developing an online degree program in Instructional Technology for the United States National Guard. With that grant, the IPT program began offering online courses via a DOS-based computer-conferencing system to 33 students from across the country and Canada.

In 1997, the IPT program becomes a department of the College of Engineering as its first graduate program offering. Due to the popularity of the online program, the department began offering courses entirely online in 2012 and changed its name to OPWL the following year to clearly reflect its mission. The OPWL department educates professionals to be able to conduct careful analyses and engineer multi-dimensional interventions to solve their organizational problems. With the focus on engineering human and organizational systems, OPWL finds the College of Engineering to be a unique and fitting home.

The OPWL student body is comprised of workplace learning and organizational development professionals employed at Amazon, Google, Boeing, Micron, HP, hospitals, restaurants, retail, finance, the military, federal agencies, and in numerous industry start-ups. Students can complete a MS degree in OPWL, and/or graduate certification programs in workplace instructional design (WIDe), workplace e-learning and performance support, (WELPS), and workplace performance improvement (WPI).

Thirty years ago, the program started with one full-time faculty member and approximately 50 on-campus and online students. Today, the OPWL department has eight full-time faculty members and three staff members, supporting an active student body of over 200 students as well as nearly 1000 graduates from around the world.

August 13, 2018

Don Winiecki

Professor Don Winiecki, of the Organizational Performance & Workplace Learning (OPWL) department, and Computer Science department in the College of Engineering, presented a paper titled “Incorporating Focused Professional Skills, and Inclusion, Diversity & Social Justice into the Computer Science Curriculum” at the third NSF REDCON conference, July 9-10 in Arlington, VA.

The REDCON (aka ‘Revolutionizing Engineering [& Computer Science] Departments’ annual CONference) is an annual meeting of university departments that have received National Science Foundation (NSF) funding under the RED program. The BSU Computer Science department and its ‘Computer Science Professionals Hatchery’ (CSP-Hatchery) is one of only 19 engineering departments nationwide that have received funding under the RED program.

Professor Don Winiecki, of the Organizational Performance & Workplace Learning (OPWL) department in the College of Engineering, presented his paper “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Algorithmic Biopolitics in Policing” at the 19th World Congress of Sociology, July 15-20 in Toronto, Canada.

Professor Don Winiecki, of the Organizational Performance & Workplace Learning (OPWL) department in the College of Engineering, has entered into a research agreement with DOT Corporation in South Korea — DOT has developed lower cost and more power-efficient refreshable braille technology. Winiecki will be researching tactile graphics and maps for blind readers and travelers that can be incorporated into DOT equipment. Some of this research may be incorporated into prototypes installed in Valley Regional Transit stations, and other civic and public-facing organizations in the Boise area.

August 7, 2018

Don Winiecki

Don Winiecki participated in workshops on braille technologies and tactile graphics, and presented a research brief titled “Tactile Graphics, Tactile Maps, Tactile Museum Displays” July 3-7 at the 2018 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in Orlando, Florida. Winiecki is certified by the U.S. Library of Congress in literary braille transcription, and is currently pursuing certification in Music braille transcription.

June 14, 2018

ATD Treasure Valley meeting

OPWL students, Jordy LePiane and Megan Kennedy, presented at the ATD Treasure Valley Chapter’s monthly meeting on June 14, 2018. They were two of the five-member panel members who presented and facilitated discussions on a special interest group (SIG) topic – evaluating learning impact and survey design.

  • Jordy presented “Using quantitative methods to assess program effectiveness and survey reliability.”
  • Megan presented “Does it matter if you use ascending- or descending-ordered scales in surveys?”

June 8, 2018

Crystal HanVicki Stieha photo

Dr. Soo Jeoung Han is presenting “Growth Mindset in Adult Learning: Systematic Literature Review” at the Adult Education Research Conference, June 7-10, at the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island, B.C. The paper was co-authored by OPWL faculty members Soo Jeoung Han and Vicki Stieha with OPWL students Emily Poitevin and Tina Starnes.

Han, S.J., Stieha, V., Poitevin, E., Starnes, T. (2018). Growth Mindset in Adult Learning: Systematic Literature Review. Adult Education Research Conference.

April 25, 2018

OPWL awards at Boise State Graduate Showcase

OPWL students Jordy LePiane, Megan Kennedy, and Danielle Patterson each received an award from the recent Graduate Student Showcase where they presented a poster of their work:

  • Jordy LePiane (Faculty advisor: Yonnie Chyung), “Using Quantitative Methods to Assess Program Effectiveness” – Student Success Award
  • Megan Kennedy (Faculty advisor: Yonnie Chyung), “Evidence-Based Survey Design: Use of Ascending or Descending Order of Likert-Type Options” – College of Engineering Award
  • Danielle Patterson (Faculty advisor: Vicki Stieha), “Web 2.0 and DSMT’s to Increase Workforce Participation in Informal Learning” – College of Engineering Award

A total of 51 students (among 180 students who presented) received an award. Some additional info was announced here

Pictured L to R: Yonnie Chyung, Megan Kennedy, Jordy LePiane

April 18, 2017

Yonnie ChyungLisa Giacumo photoCrystal Han

Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) faculty and graduate students as well as OPWL alumns presented at the International Society for Performance Improvement’s annual performance improvement conference April 5-10 in Seattle.

Professor Yonnie Chyung, with graduate students Theresa Brittain, Mark Morgan, and Tammy Wheeler, and an alum Jie Chen presented “Conducting Evaluations with a 10-step Procedure.” Chyung also presented “Evidence-based Survey Design with Likert Scales” with graduate student Megan Kennedy and alums Katherine Roberts and Ieva Swanson.

Assistant professor Lisa Giacumo presented “Working Together: Performance Improvement, Employers, Academics and Students, and Designing E-Learning for Cross-Cultural Global Workplace Needs,” as well as facilitated a round-table discussion regarding performance improvement and HR relevance in the data age.

Giacumo also presented “Manage Cognitive Load to Increase Training Transfer” with a graduate student Sabrina Johnson and “Transfer to Performance: Deliver Valued Results!” with a graduate student Kristen Goff.

In addition, assistant professor Crystal Han presented “How Can We Accelerate the Formation of Creative Project Teams?”

OPWL alums who also presented at the conference were:

  • Dan Hardin, “EPSS Solution Saves Thousands of Man Hours”
  • Chris McQueen, “”How Google Introduces New Hires to a Culture of Innovation”
  • William Piersol, “Synergy by Design”

March 26, 2018

Congratulations Crystal Han

Congratulations to OPWL faculty member Crystal Han who has was selected as College of Engineering’s Golden Apple Award recipient!

The Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) nominates, selects finalists, and presents Golden Apple Awards to faculty that have gone above and beyond to encourage them and instill a passion for learning.

Congratulations on your nomination Dr. Han and thank you to the OPWL students that nominated her!

March 22, 2018

Congratulations Steve Villachica

Congratulations to OPWL faculty member Steve Villachica on his nomination to receive the David S. Taylor Service to Students Award!
This award recognizes an outstanding faculty or staff member who is committed to impacting the lives of students; extending student learning beyond the classroom; inspiring students to see what is possible; and seeking innovative ways to serve students in the 21st century, a whole new chapter of accelerated change

Congratulations Dr. Villachia on your nomination and thank you to the OPWL community members that nominated him!!

February 28, 2018

Left to right: Marilyn Bickle, assistant director of the Venture College, JoAnn Lighty, dean of the College of Engineering, and members of Spark: Reed McKenzie, Olin Nordahl, Dan Couch, Jared Jeka, Maxx Aguirre.

OPWL assistant professor Crystal Han was part of the leadership team that organized the Invent for the Plant event. Two OPWL students, Brittany Poley and Dan Couch participated in the event, and Dan Couch was a member of a team winning a prize.

Read more about the Boise State Invent for the Planet event

Read more about the Invent for the Planet teams

February 20, 2018

IdahoYouthRanch logo and students with map of locations

Last spring, the Idaho Youth Ranch approached Boise State University’s Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning program with a problem: how to streamline volunteer and new-hire employee on-boarding so that they can confidently fulfill their duties in a consistent manner that provides troubled youth with a path to a valued, responsible and productive future.

Read the whole story in Boise State’s Update: How the Boise State Program OPWL Helped Transform the Idaho Youth Ranch

View the bios of the participants

October 18, 2017

Lisa Giacumo photoSteve Villachica photo

The 2017 Association for Educational Communications and Technology was held Nov. 6-11 in Jacksonville, Florida. Boise State University’s Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) faculty presented with students, faculty at other academic institutions and industry partners.

Lisa Giacumo presented on the topic “Mentoring, workplace learning, and performance improvement: Evidence, evaluation, and research methods updates from a multiple studies review,” along with contributing graduate students Jie Chen and Aurora Seguinot Cruz.

Giacumo also presented on “Leading Learning for Change: A Precious Partnership across Cultures.”

Steven W. Villachica presented on “Assessment, instructional design and Bloom’s taxonomy: Exploring ID practice in educational and workplace settings.”

Both Giacumo and Villachica presented on “Big Data Readiness in Organizations: A Co-construction Process to Inform the Next Steps.”

In addition to the above presentations, Giacumo and Villachica served on the association’s design and development competition committee and Giacumo rotated on as the association’s vice-president of professional development as part of the culture, learning and technology division board leadership team.

December 13, 2017

Don Winiecki

Dr. Winiecki presenting at the 2018 Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computer Diversity.

Don Winiecki will present a research paper at the 2018 Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity, in Crystal City, Virginia, in May 2018. The paper is titled “Infusing inclusion, diversity and social justice into the undergraduate computer science curriculum at Boise State University.”

Research supporting this paper comes from innovations and accomplishments in the Computer Science Professional’s Hatchery project (CSP Hatchery) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and its Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Departments program. The CSP Hatchery is aimed at providing curricular and performance supports that help the computer science department and computer science students become more responsive to the technical, professional and social expectations of industry, and broader society.

November 28, 2017

Crystal Han

On December 1, 2017 Dr. Crystal Han will present an MSMSE Seminar Series entitled “How to Successfully Manage STEM Project Teams: Emergence of Shared Leadership Dynamics during Engineering Student Design Projects”

Due to the complexity of many engineering problems, engineers often work in interdisciplinary project teams. In outstanding performing teams, every voice is heard and every point of view is taken into consideration. These teams synthesize all members’ resources and weave them into a creative solution; ultimately, members share the leadership. However, most teams are average or mediocre in their performance and therefore need improved skills for teamwork. As an extension of team performance, contemporary workplaces generally require all STEM graduates to be well equipped with teamwork and leadership skills. Therefore, the main purpose of this seminar is to untangle the construct of shared leadership and identify its different dimensions in those engineering student teams operating without formal leaders. We will discuss the patterns of how the different dimensions of shared leadership emerge during teamwork processes. More research on shared leadership is necessary to better understand the way different types of leadership behaviors intertwine to determine the quality of the team’s process.

Soo Jeoung “Crystal” Han is an Assistant Professor in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) program in the College of Engineering at Boise State University. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Educational Human Resource Development at Texas A&M University. Her research interests include the field of virtual team collaboration, growth mindset in teams, cross-cultural team management, shared leadership development of teams, and global and women executive leadership.

November 15, 2017

Beverly Naylor and Tammy Wheeler award winners

Congratulations OPWL graduate Beverly Naylor (left), OPWL student Tammy Wheeler (right), and OPWL student Kara Rutherford (not pictured) on receiving the Nova Southern University award for Outstanding Practice by a Graduate Student in Instructional Design at the 2017 annual AECT conference.

November 9, 2017

Boise State Celebrates National Distance Learning Week

Boise State University is celebrating National Distance Learning Week, Nov 6-10, by spotlighting continued growth in online degree and certificate programs. As of fall 2017, Boise State offers 37 online programs, with 2,989 students enrolled fully online.

“Online programming greatly increases this university’s reach — across all of Idaho and far beyond,” said Mark Wheeler, dean of Extended Studies. “Students in Boise State’s online programs include those living in rural areas, people right here in the Treasure Valley who have challenging work and personal schedules, and, really, people from all around the globe.”

Boise State introduced its first online degree in 1989 via two-way computer conferencing. Online degree options and online enrollment have grown each year since. Programs like educational technology and organizational performance and workplace learning (OPWL) pioneered online offerings at Boise State and pushed boundaries in technology to attract a global audience. The number of students enrolled in fully online courses increased by 71 percent at the undergraduate level and 58.5 percent at the graduate level compared with fall 2013, according to the fall census day report.

Fully online programs give students access to higher education from afar, enabling them to complete their degrees while still maintaining their family and work lives. Additionally, Boise State offers over 500 unique courses online, allowing all students more flexibility in their schedules.

Boise State’s online programs are tailored specifically for online learners. The university’s eCampus center includes an instructional design team who work with faculty to create specialized, interactive online classes and degree programs based on research and best practices. Extended studies also includes a team of student success coaches who provide personalized support for online students from application to graduation.

Boise State’s online offerings will continue to grow in 2018, with planned additions of the nation’s first-ever online master of science in genetic counseling and a new online master of science in respiratory care. Additional graduate and undergraduate programs are also under development.

October 18, 2017

Lisa Giacumo photoSteve Villachica photo

Sole Pera photoJeroen Breman photo

Boise State assistant professor Lisa Giacumo, associate professor Steve Villachica and assistant Sole Pera, working in concert with Jeroen Breman, a learning and development consultant for GridU, the corporate university for Northwest Lineman College, presented at the 2017 International Society for Performance Improvement Europe Middle East Asia (EMEA) conference held Sept. 14-16 in Bologna, Italy.

Their research-to-practice session, “Determining big data readiness in organizations: A Client co-construction strategy for success,” was based on the result of a review of the professional literature regarding big data, performance improvement, innovation adoption and readiness factors.

Participants learned about the authors’ emerging performance improvement big data-readiness framework tool. In addition, participants learned how it applies to cases of successful EMEA region-focused performance improvement projects. The session’s outcomes provided a useful framework for practitioners that need to identify organizational factors associated with potential organizational changes required to achieve big data integration.

September 28, 2017

Don Winiecki photo

Professor leads movement to create social justice in engineering

Dr. Winiecki’s research and ongoing work is highlighted in Boise State University’s student newspaper The Arbiter in this story:

September 28, 2017

USCG graduates highlighted in Boise State University’s student newspaper The Arbiter

Thank you to OPWL graduates and USCG members Lisa Rodman and Ben Lyons for being available for an interview with the student newspaper!

Read the article here:

September 19, 2017

Performance Improvement magazine icon

Congratulations to co-authors Julie Barkin, Dr. Chyung and Megan Lemke!

Congratulations on publication of the co-authored article Following a 10-Step Procedure to Evaluate the Administrative Services Qualification Card Program in the September 18, 2017 issue of Performance Improvement Journal (PIJ).

Read the full article here:

September 12, 2017

Elyse Taylor photo

OPWL Graduate Elyse Taylor’s Needs Assessment project gets university coverage!

The Arbiter, Boise State University’s student paper, takes a closer look at OPWL graduate Elyse Taylor’s project conducted in Dr. Don Winiecki’s needs assessment course. Read more here:

September 11, 2017

Lisa Giacumo photo

Lisa Giacumo, in collaboration with Oklahoma State University assistant professor in educational technology Asino Tutaleni, and global pharmaceutical market and design researcher Victoria Chen, wrote “Culture as a design ‘next’: Theoretical frameworks to guide new design, development and research of learning environments.”

The article explores culture in the design ecosystem and argues that to best support learning needs culture should be included throughout the design process instead of treating it as an afterthought.

Read the article in the Sept. 7, 2017 issue of The Design Journal: An International Journal for all aspects of design here:

August 4, 2017

Don Winiecki

Dr. Don Winiecki’s Boise State podcast

Professor Don Winiecki from the Department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning in the College of Engineering, is working to find the intersection of art and science. In this Boise State podcast, Winiecki discusses his work developing a computer program called ANA that draws and paints autonomously.

Listen to the podcast below:

July 25, 2017

Anthony Marker

Dr. Tony Marker’s interview on Radio Boise

Dr. Tony Marker, a professor of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning at BSU, discusses the types of change and how people adapt to changes (or not) depending upon the circumstances and change factors.

June 8, 2017

photo Jie Chen

OPWL student Jie Chen in June 2017 issue of ISPI’s Performance Express

OPWL student and ISPI-BABS Marketing Co-Vice President Jie Chen’s authored the article “Our Current Engagement Touchpoints.” Read Jie Chen’s article!

June 8, 2017

photo Scott Casad

Graduate (’07) and ISPI President Scott Casad in the June 2017 issue of ISPI’s Performance Express

Read the President’s Message

June 8, 2017

photo Brett Christensen

Graduate (’10) and OPWL adjunct faculty Brett Christensen in the June 2017 issue of ISPI Performance Express

Read Social Media: Fueling Informal Learning

May 17, 2017

Jordan Wareham photoLisa Giacumo photo

Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning graduate student Jordan Wareham and faculty member Lisa A. Giacumo presented “Death by PowerPoint – Reversing the Curse” at the 2017 conference of the International Society of Performance Improvement.

The presentation focused on three models and applied instructional strategies that performance improvement specialists and instructional designers can use to create scenario-based training materials to support adult learning, engagement, motivation, and transfer of learning to performance in organizations. The conference was held in Montreal, Canada, April 30-May 2.

Steve Villachica photo

Giacumo also presented with Steven W. Villachica, associate professor. Their presentation, “Big Data: Hype, Promise, and PI Applications” focused on the role of performance improvement specialists and instructional designers in big data solutions to common workplace performance problems.

Giacumo and Villachica also served as mentors in the speed mentoring event at the conference. During this event, they met with aspiring performance improvement practitioners to provide advice, perspective, and feedback, on the goals and next steps of students and practitioners in the field brought forth.

May 16, 2017

Jeroen Breman photo
Lisa Giacumo photo

Lisa A. Giacumo and Grid University’s learning and development consultant Jeroen Breman recently presented their research in an article in the Quarterly Review of Distance Education titled “Emerging evidence on the use of big data and analytics in workplace learning: A Systematic literature review.”

May 10, 2017

In-Gu Kang ISPI award photo

In-Gu Kang Recognized for Human Performance Model Dissertation

In-Gu Kang has been awarded the 1st Place Winner of the 2017 Distinguished Dissertation Award from the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI). Dr. Kang’s dissertation is titled “Empirical testing of a human performance model: Understanding successes in federal agencies using second-order structural equation modeling.”

Dr. Kang’s study strives to offer a proven and comprehensive model that can address organizational needs and opportunities for improving performance and can be also used as a communication tool to build partnerships with clients. The findings of his study contribute to the advancement of both the body of research knowledge and to the practices supporting human behavior and successful organization performance. The research can be used to make a difference in educational settings, where there are a wide variety of human learning and performance problems that need to be addressed.

“The proven and tested HP model presents a good starting point of taking a systematic approach in solving these diverse learning and performance problems in educational settings,” Kang said.

Dr. Kang received a Ph.D. in the department of Instructional Systems Technology at the School of Education at Indiana University Bloomington in July 2015. Dr. Kang is currently working as an online learning analytics in the Center for Educational Innovation at the University at Buffalo and will join as a tenure-track assistant professor in the department of Organizational Performance & Workplace Learning (OPWL) in the College of Engineering at Boise State University in July 2017.

May 6, 2017

ISPI BABS award photo

Congratulations to the Bay Area / Boise State Chapter on winning the Chapter Merit Award at the ISPI conference!

L to R: OPWL student Miki Turtsanyi, ISPI President Klaus Wittkuhn, and ISPI Bay Area Boise State Chapter President Sue Czeropski

May 5, 2017

Don Winiecki

Don Winiecki has been named a voting member on the IEEE Autonomous Systems Validation Working Group.

This working group is charged with producing a model process for guiding the design of autonomous computer systems (artificial intelligence and machine learning systems; for example, self-driving cars, unpiloted aircraft, autonomous robotic systems, etc.) to ensure they operate in a way that is “transparent” and thus understandable, verifiable and trustworthy to a wide range of stakeholders.

The transparency of operational characteristics of autonomous computing systems is an essential component in ensuring that supported devices perform in a manner that is consistent with legal and ethical principles, auditable and always controllable by human designers and users.

IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology.

April 25, 2017

Don Winiecki

Don Winiecki made a presentation at the annual convention of the Idaho chapter of the National Federation of the Blind in March. Winiecki reported his experiences earning Library of Congress certification in the transcription of braille, and described his plans for applying his new skills in support of students.

Winiecki also has been invited to attend meetings at the National Federation of the Blind national conference in Orlando, Florida, in July to contribute to efforts by the federation in producing legislation to promote standards for accessible instructional materials, especially as they relate to STEM education.

Since earning certification in braille transcription, Winiecki has transcribed three books of poetry and one book on Sargy Mann, a British Impressionist painter who continued painting after he lost his eyesight. He is currently transcribing a widely used computer science textbook. Winiecki also volunteers braille services for the Idaho Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the International Committee for Robot Arms Control.

April 20, 2017

Bob Casper photo

Here is a story about Bob Casper who is a 2012 OPWL alumnus!

Open Education Resources –freely accessible, openly licensed documents used for teaching, learning and research – is a big topic in higher education, as it was at the 2017 Northwest Managers of Technology conference recently held in Helena, Montana. At the conference, Bob Casper, an instructional design specialist at Boise State’s IDEA Shop, gave a presentation titled “OER: What is Boise State University’s IDEA Shop doing?”

Casper talked about what the IDEA Shop has done to demystify OER for faculty with projects like the 2017 OER Institute. He also addressed interventions on how to best use OER, which include web page collections of OER elements, a faculty learning community, one-on-one sessions with faculty, and a new OER faculty mentor program. In addition, he spoke on how OER pertains to copyright and licensing, the mixing and matching of various sources, as well as faculty concerns of workload, publishing and research credit. His talk also touched on the overall perception of policy and political issues within the confines of further adoption of OER in face-to-face and hybrid courses.

For more information on OER, please go to the IDEA Shop’s webpage.

April 20, 2017

Anthony Marker
Anthony Marker
OPWL Professor
and Department Chair

Susan Shadle, Anthony Marker and Brittnee Earl co-authored a manuscript published in the International Journal of STEM Education titled “Faculty drivers and barriers: laying the groundwork for undergraduate STEM education reform in academic departments.”

This publication focuses on the initial response of Boise State STEM faculty to an institutional transformation in teaching and learning in STEM disciplines in order to increase student success, persistence and degree attainment. Faculty identified a variety of barriers and drivers for exploring evidence-based practices, utilizing assessment data to inform teaching choices, engaging in dialogue around teaching and learning, and engaging in continuous improvements in teaching. The barriers and drivers faculty reported were used to identify and tailor strategies to help departments shift teaching practices.

April 10, 2017

A case study based on a course project conducted by four graduate students in the Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) department in the College of Engineering will be published in the Performance Improvement Journal.

In this project, Elyse Taylor, Educational Access Center, and fellow OPWL graduate students Erin Callahan, Kristen Pinta and Leah Yeatts, investigated challenges faced by undergraduate deaf students at Boise State. The assessment was prompted by lower-than-desired rates of success by deaf students in their undergraduate studies. The team discovered that gaps in resources and a lack of collaborative learning opportunities for deaf students accounted for a sizable part of the gap in deaf students’ success.

In addition to their article, which will appear in the August or September issue of Performance Improvement, a report documenting their work and recommendations for addressing the gaps have been submitted to university administrators for consideration.

The project was completed in Don Winiecki’s OPWL529 Needs Assessment course.

Performance Improvement Journal is the premier journal for practitioners in the field of Performance Improvement.

March 16, 2017

Congratulations to OPWL student Joe DeSapio!

Joe’s proposal for Boise State University’s Graduate Student Showcase was accepted!
He will be presenting his proposal via distance during the morning of Monday, April 3.

We are excited to have an OPWL student represented at the Graduate Student Showcase.
Again, congratulations Joe!

March 9, 2017

AECT logo

The 2017 AECT Design & Development Awards – CALL FOR NOMINATIONS!

Information on the list of awards and how to submit your application can be found:
on the AECT D&D Award page

REMINDER: OPWL faculty member Dr. Lisa Giacumo is AECT’s VP of Professional Development and she encourages any OPWL student/graduate interested in applying to feel free to contact her for assistance at

March 2, 2017

Lisa Giacumo photo

Congratulations to Dr. Lisa Giacumo!

Dr. Giacumo has been elected as the Association of Educational Communication and Technology (AECT) VP of Professional Development for their Culture, Learning and Technology Division!

Now is a terrific time to check with Lisa on how you can be involved in AECT and professional development! To learn more about Lisa or to locate her contact information, please visit:

To read more about Lisa and her involvement in AECT visit Dr. Giacumo’s AECT Election Bio.

December 8, 2016

Quincy Conley

The OPWL department is hosting a farewell reception for Dr. Quincy Conley in the OPWL office (ENGR building, room 327) on Friday, December 9 at 4:00 p.m. Dr. Conley has accepted a research position with Pearson Education and will be departing Boise, ID on Saturday, December 10.

Dr. Conley updated the e-learning curriculum in the department and brought an energy and enthusiasm for performance support and improvement to the department that will be greatly missed.

In the three years he was here, he collaborated with students on research ​resulting in ​four conference​ presentation​s and ​a publication, he set-up and run an iPerform lab that conducted usability studies, and redesigned and taught four OPWL courses.

His time here was short but ​the positive impact ​he made is already yielding long returns. He will be missed by the department and the entire student body. Please join us as we bid him a fond farewell and best wishes on his next adventure.

The majority of our student body resides outside Idaho, so please feel free to send a congratulatory email to by 5 pm Friday, December 9, 2016

November 3, 2016

2016 AETC

Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning faculty members participated in several presentations at the annual international conference of the Association for Educational Communications Technology (AECT) held in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 17-21, 2016.

In the photo, Lisa Giacumo, Boise State; Kay Persichitte, University of Wyoming; Steven Villachica, Boise State; Quincy Conley, Boise State; and Kent Sabo, Clark County (Nevada) School District, participated in a panel discussion titled “Instructional Design for Education and the Workplace: Cousins, But Not Twins.” They provided guidance on the differences in instructional design practice in business and educational contexts. In other words, performance improvement specialists, educational technologists, and instructional designers ply their craft in both educational and workplace settings. Drawing on a shared evidence-based knowledge base, instructional designers often assume that their practices don’t vary significantly between the two settings. The panel explored the nuances of instructional design in these settings, places where theories, practice and context are the same — and different.

November 3, 2016

2016 AETC big data

Northwest Lineman College’s Learning and Development Coordinator Jeroen Breman, and OPWL faculty members Lisa Giacumo and Steven W. Villachica also presented their research at a poster session titled “Big Data and Analytics for Big Wins: Environmental Cues, Readiness Indicators, and Select Analytics Applications.”

This work is based on a recent systematic literature review of big data and learning analytics to inform management, training, and instructional systems design that was conducted by Giacumo and Breman (in press). Villachica and Giacumo then collaborated to place decisions to use big data within a performance improvement framework and design an emerging technology tool, which can be used to assess organizational readiness for new big data and analytics initiatives. The evidence from the literature review, performance improvement framework, emerging tool design process, and the tool were presented to interested attendees of AECT’s Emerging Technology Showcase.


Giacumo and Breman also presented their research and emerging evidence during their session “Big data, learning analytics, training, and performance improvement: Emerging evidence.”

This session focused on their systematic literature review of big data and learning analytics to inform management, training, and instructional systems design in NGOs. Surprisingly, the search yielded little to no evidence of the use of these approaches in NGOs so the context was broadened to include corporate workplaces. Some research and trade magazine articles on this topic along with anecdotal evidence does exist in this larger context; businesses are beginning to use big data to improve training and performance. The purpose of this session was to review the evidence and connect with potential collaborators, who are interested in the application of big data in organizational performance and training.

October 31, 2016

Lisa Giacumo AETC

Lisa Giacumo with Tutaleni I. I. Asino.

Lisa Giacumo AETC presenter

Sara West Bechtold, University of Arizona South, Edward Francis Schneider, University of South Florida, Lisa A. Giacumo, Boise State University, and Constance Harris, George Mason University.

Lisa A. Giacumo and Tutaleni I. I. Asino, educational technology assistant professor at Oklahoma State University, recently presented their research and emerging evidence during a session titled “Instructional Designers, Culture, and ID Practices in International Non Governmental Organisations,” at the Association for Educational Communications Technology (AECT) annual international conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 17-21, 2016.

This session included a review of the instructional models and frameworks that exalt the importance of localizing learning and instruction, as well as the evidence that shows there is little guidance for how one develops the cross-cultural knowledge and skills necessary to effectively design for various localized learning environments and training needs across the globe. Building on prior research, they explored how instructional designers might be prepared to work in international contexts and in development agencies. The goal of this research is to develop and share a conceptual framework about the functional practices of instructional designers within diverse non-governmental organizations and governmental development organizations.

Giacumo also participated as a panel discussant of the session “Shaping Your Career in Instructional Science” at the same conference. Panelists provided guidance on the different career paths and trajectories available to scholars in the instructional design and technology field. This guidance focused on strategies for maximizing personal satisfaction and goal achievement in attendees’ instructional science careers.

AECT is a professional association of thousands of educators and others whose activities are directed toward improving instruction through technology.

October 26, 2016

Boise State University’s Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) graduate program received high-praise in a shout-out from Indiana University professor emeritus James Pershing. Pershing, editor of Performance Improvement Journal (PIJ) wrote about the role universities play in preparing performance technologists and in advancing the field of human performance technology (HPT) in his farewell editorial in the October 2016 issue.

“The example at hand is Boise State University’s program in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning and its integration of field-based projects in its coursework. In so doing, the Boise State program addresses three important outcomes. First, the program is providing its students with authentic experiences in applying HPT principles and practices. Second, by having students convert their findings to a written and publishable case presentation, the program is requiring them to think clearly and analytically, a prerequisite to clear writing about HPT principles and practices. Third, the program is instilling in its students a standard of professionalism, advancing a field of study by having its members through publication share with their colleagues their experiences, knowledge, and skills.”

Pershing goes on to offer positive comments about a case presentation from Joel Bertrand, Trevor Sparrow, Sujatha Jagdeep, and Professor Donald Winiecki titled “Improving and Maintaining Torque Accuracy in Aerospace Manufacturing.”

“The case study focus is a needs-assessment project that addresses a performance gap in a critical manufacturing process involving tool usage in torquing processes. The project is data driven and uses well-known and well-tested HPT frameworks as well as data-gathering and data-analysis techniques in carrying out the project. The team details the processes involved and capstones their report explaining project challenges and lessons learned. The case is well presented and makes for an informative read.”

Read the complete editorial, the article and all of the October 2016 issue at:

October 20, 2016

Lisa Giacumo LINGO

OPWL faculty member Dr. Quincy Conley and OPWL student Valerie Gardin presented Avoid Getting RED in the Face: Rapid E-Learning Development Tools for Novice E-Learning Developers at the 2016 Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Conference held in Las Vegas, NV October 18-21, 2016.

Photo L to R: OPWL student Valerie Gardin with OPWL faculty member Dr. Quincy Conley at the 2016 AECT conference

October 20, 2016

OPWL faculty member Dr. Donald Winiecki and OPWL Master of Science students Joel Bertrand, Trevor Sparrow and Sujatha Jagdeep had their article Improving and Maintaining Torque Accuracy in Aerospace Manufacturing: A Case Study published in the October 2016 issue of the Performance Improvement Journal (PIJ). Trevor Sparrow graduated from the OPWL MS degree program in May 2015, Joel Bertrand and Sujatha Jagdeep will graduate in May 2017 and December 2016, respectively. This article is the published culmination of a project conducted in OPWL529, Needs Assessment. PIJ is the premier practitioner-oriented journal in the field of Organizational Performance Improvement and Workplace Learning.

October 19, 2016

Lisa Giacumo LINGO

Lisa A. Giacumo was invited to attend the LINGOs Global Learning Forum where leaders from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across the world meet to drive change and develop strategy to carry their organizations forward in the area of workplace learning and organizational development. There, she was invited to present her most recent work focused on how NGOs can leverage big data for organizational development. Her presentation was titled “Big data, analytics and strategy to promote learning in NGOs.”

October 17, 2016

Lisa Giacumo & Steve Villachica photo

Lisa A. Giacumo and Steven W. Villachica presented “Big Data meets performance improvement: Separating promise from hype” at the 2017 annual conference of the International Society of Performance Improvement: Europe – Middle East – Africa (ISPI-EMEA). The presentation focused on how organizations can leverage big data to meet strategic business objectives through systemic improvement. The conference was held in Bonn, Germany September 22 – 24, 2016.

October 17, 2016

Lisa Giacumo photo

Lisa A. Giacumo lead a team of performance improvement specialists through a live simulation to support the organizational development of Never Again Rwanda (NAR) sponsored by USAID at the International Society of Performance Improvement: Europe, the Middle East, Africa (ISPI EMEA) in Bonn, Germany. Never Again Rwanda is a peace building and social justice organization that arose in response to the 1994 genocide perpetrated against Tutsis. Guided by a vision of a nation where citizens are agents of positive change and work together toward sustainable peace and development, NAR aims to empower Rwandans with opportunities to become active citizens through peace building and development. NAR places a particular emphasis on the youth as the future of a peaceful society. NAR is one of the leading national peace-building organizations with nearly 13 years of experience building a cornerstone for peace.

For more information about the simulation, go to the ISPI website article “Bonn Conference Update: A Unique Experience not to be Missed”

October 10, 2016

Gina Persichini

In recognition of Buck Cancer Week at Boise State, Boise State news introduced you to some of the faculty, staff, students and alumni who have been greatly impacted by cancer. From stories of personal courage to updates on cutting-edge research, this series shows the resilience and determination of Bronco Nation.

Read the full story featuring OPWL graduate Gina Persichini

September 27, 2016

2016 ISPI EMEA Germany

At the 2016 ISPI-EMEA conference in Bonn, Germany September 22-24, 2016

L to R: Drs. Lisa Giacumo, Steve Villachica, Anthony Marker, and Roger Kaufmann

September 7, 2016

Carol Porter photo

Carol Porter was highlighted in a recent Boise State Adjunct Faculty Newsletter

Carol Porter has been teaching for OPWL (formerly IPT) since Fall 2002 and has taught more than 42 classes for Boise State! Her first class was IPT 595 Reading and Conference – Comprehensive Exam Preparation which was the culminating course for the program at that time. This semester she is teaching OPWL 588 – Selected Topics Library Skills for Research.

In addition to her teaching, Carol has worked as a performance improvement consultant and instructional designer for a large international consulting firm, a small local consulting firm (which she co-founded and managed before moving to the US from Vancouver, BC) and as an independent consultant. As a consultant, she has worked in a variety of organizations – public, private and not-for-profit – so she brings a lot of relevant work experience to the OPWL classroom. “I have also worked in executive recruiting in the public and not-for-profit sector so I have a pretty good idea of what a wide variety of employers are looking for and what it takes to be successful in different kinds of organizations.”

When asked what she likes about teaching, she says, “Wow, that’s a big question! There is so much that I enjoy about teaching. I love being part of the ‘Aha!’ moments when things click and come together for students. I really like getting to know so many different people in different organizations and I am excited to hear how they are applying what they are learning on-the-job. It is an honor to have the opportunity to be a part of [student growth]. There is only so much that you can do as an individual, but when you can contribute to developing and empowering such an amazing group as our students the opportunities are virtually limitless!”

August 12, 2016

Association for Talent Development (ATD) Valley of the Sun Chapter RFP
DUE August 28, 2016. Annual Conference —> October 21, 2016

Request for Proposals – Due August 28, 2016, 5:00 p.m. PST.

Do you have best practices, how-to content, and thought-provoking ideas-all with a focus on how to reach new levels of performance? We challenge you to submit interactive session ideas and demanding content.

If so, submit your proposal for a session and share your ideas at ATD Valley of the Sun 2016 Conference!

What’s in it for you?

  • Session facilitators receive a complimentary conference registration (a $225 value).
  • Help other achieve success by sharing your professional ideas and insights.
  • Facilitate groundbreaking discussions and be recognized by your peers as a thought leader.
  • Nearly 200 L&D, OD, Coaching, and Talent Development professionals from across the Valley will gather for engaging discussions, enlightening content, and valuable networking opportunities

Please join us!

July 25, 2016

Dr. Winiecki a member of the research team awarded a 5-year $2 million National Science Foundation grant

Boise State University’s Department of Computer Science is one of seven engineering and computer science departments across the country to receive a five-year, $2 million Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) award from the National Science Foundation. The project is titled “Computer Science Professionals Hatchery: An Ecosystem for Nurturing the Next Generation of Computer Science Professionals”.

Read more about the grant

June 24, 2016

ISPI logo

ISPI Call for Proposals and Award of Excellence submission for THE 2017 PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT CONFERENCE

The ISPI Call for Proposals and Award of Excellence submission process for THE Performance Improvement Conference in Montreal, Quebec April 30 – May 2, 2017 is now open!

Please note that the Call for Proposals will close August 1, 2016 and the Award of Excellence submissions will close September 15, 2016 (with the exception of the Chapter of Excellence, which closes January 15, 2017).

Call for Proposals:

Your proposal topic must align with one of the areas below. This enables participants to tailor their conference experience according to their interests. In addition, we will also be accepting proposals in either English or French.

The areas for proposals include the following:

  • Developing Performance Improvement (PI): Innovation and the Future of Work
  • Applying PI
  • Maverick

For more information about each area visit: the ISPI submission page

May 26, 2016

Don Winiecki and dot photo

Dr. Don Winiecki meets with engineers from Dot Inc. in Seoul, South Korea. Dot is designing a set of smart devices for the blind. Dr. Winiecki is using his knowledge of computer programming and braille transcription to assist Dot in designing its systems to accommodate multiple languages and to display braille and tactile graphics for maths and science notation. Increasing access to written materials for the visually-impaired is a substantive contribution toward improving the potential for learning- and working-performance among members of this historically under-resourced group worldwide.

Additionally, Dr. Winiecki is using his forthcoming sabbatical to complete Library of Congress certification in braille transcription for literary texts, tactile graphics and maths and science notation.

May 13, 2016

Ieva Swanson photo

Outstanding Graduate Award

Each May and December, the OPWL faculty reviews the list of individuals graduating from the OPWL master’s degree program during the preceding semester and selects an individual to receive the “Outstanding Graduate Award.” Selection for this award is based on the individual’s earned GPA, performance on the portfolio defense, and contributions made to the OPWL community, both inside and outside of the classroom. For May 2016 the Outstanding Graduate was Ieva Swanson. Please join us in congratulating Ieva for her achievements.

May 4, 2016

Carlyn Blake and Sai Singh  photo

When Boise State began talking about the skills needed to help students with their “Bridge to Career,” the Department of Organization Performance and Workplace Learning paused and wondered if some of their students might benefit from additional resources to improve their professional presentation. Bridge to Career is a certificate program that students can layer onto their degrees to demonstrate organizational and managerial skills.

In one instance, OPWL reached out to Carlyn Blake, a 2005 graduate of the program previously known as Instructional and Performance Technology who currently is the executive director of Usful Glassworks. They asked her if she would take on an intern — a recent graduate — to work on instructional design projects. Sai Singh interned with Blake for a little over a month and completed three projects for Usful Glassworks. Each time, Blake provided feedback and encouragement. By the end of the month, Blake and Singh concluded that he was indeed ready to do instructional design in the workplace. But he wasn’t getting any calls.

So the department contacted 2002 IPT graduate Lesa Becker, who for years served as director of learning at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and is an adjunct instructor in the program and an international certified coach. Becker and Singh met to explore his career goals and review the jobs he was applying for, as well as his resume and cover letter. She helped him fine-tune which jobs to apply for, helped him focus his resume on skills that directly aligned with those the jobs required, and collaborated with him to polish his cover letter.

Once he received a call for an interview, Becker conducted a mock interview with Singh and identified ways to improve his presentation to better communicate his match to the job and the value he could bring to the position. When Singh got a call for a follow-up interview in which he was required to improve an existing course offering, she helped him practice his presentation. She also provided feedback to help him better articulate how he could assist the department with their learning and development goals.

After working with Becker for a month, Singh received and accepted a learning and development position job offer in the Treasure Valley.

The OPWL department is working to formalize these resources and, because it is an online program, will touch base with alumni to identify job coaches and career mentors throughout the United States and Canada.

April 28, 2016

Kate Aument photo

Congratulations Kate Aument for your award-winning OPWL 530 Evaluation project!

Kate Aument, an OPWL student and an instructional designer at the University of Illinois, Chicago, completed an evaluation team project with two other team members in the OPWL 530 Evaluation class during the Spring semester of 2015. The team project was a formative evaluation of the Faculty Peer Observation Program implemented at the College of Pharmacy in the University of Illinois, Chicago. Kate was the proposal writer and the team lead.

Based on her evaluation team project, Kate and her client, Assistant Dean, submitted an application to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Award for Excellence in Assessment, focusing on the evaluation process used to provide formative improvements to the peer observation program. And, their college is one of the three recipients of the 2016 AACP Award for Excellence in Assessment! Congratulations!!!

April 27, 2016

Ron Grames photo

Ron Grames, systems administrator for the Department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning, is retiring after more than 24 years of service to the university. A reception will be held in his honor from 3:30-5 p.m. Thursday, May 5, in the second floor atrium of the Engineering Building.

Grames was hired in October 1991 as technical coordinator for the Instructional and Performance Technology program in the College of Technology. The department was still in the process of creating an online classroom at that time. Grames’ job was to repurpose newly created mail reader programs to host course discussions and assignment submissions that could easily be downloaded, installed and configured by newly admitted students.

Over the years, he was instrumental in providing the department with essential technical support and development during a time when online education was just an emerging idea. The better he did his job, the more invisible his presence became. He has since assisted with numerous platform changes and ensured that the courses were accessible by a variety of quickly changing technologies — from1200 baud modems to 4G WIFI, and from desktop computers to smartphones.

From fall 1991 until fall 2015, Grames assisted more than 1,000 students, faculty and adjuncts with downloading, installing and configuring the software that allowed them to participate in online courses. Because students live in a broad array of time zones around the world, he accommodated their schedules by often working into the late hours of the evening or the early hours in the morning. Every student who took an online class from 1991 to 2015 spoke with Grames and received his personal assistance in being technically prepared to access and to participate in the online classroom.

The entire department and countless students and graduates have appreciated Ron’s patience and ongoing contribution to the department’s mission and goals.

April 12, 2016

ISPI 2016 photo

ISPI 2016
Performance Improvement Conference

OPWL faculty with ISPI’s 2016 Honorary Life Member Award Recipient Roger Chevalier

L to R: Lisa Giacumo, Steve Villachica, Roger Chevalier, Anthony Marker, and Linda Urban

April 12, 2016

ISPI 2016 dinner photo

OPWL dinner photo in Philadelphia after a day at the Performance Improvement Conference

April 11, 2016

Don Winiecki - Making the Familiar Strange

CONGRATULATIONS to OPWL professor Dr. Don Winiecki. His new art exhibition “Making the Familiar Strange” will be featured in the Boise State Student Union Building from April 20 – May 22. The reception will be held on Thursday, April 21 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm.

Making the Familiar Strange presents a series of digital paintings generated by ANA, a software program developed by Boise State professor of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL), sociologist, and former illustrator Dr. Donald J. Winiecki. He has been writing the program to autonomously do things normally considered the domain of a human artist, modeled after his personal aesthetic and the processes he uses when making art in a conventional way. He says, “the software does not ‘think’, nor is it artificially intelligent (whatever that means), but it does make decisions about color, form, composition and subject matter, within a limited range.” In this exhibition Winiecki invites viewers to follow the development of ANA over time and to question what they think they “know” about the world, and about art.

For more information about Winiecki’s artwork view these articles:
Introducing ANA (ANA is Not Aaron)
Coloring Outside the Lines on Purpose: Designing an algorithmic aesthetic for ANA in Common Lisp

March 31, 2016

OPWL/ISPI ANNUAL GET TOGETHER at the Performance Improvement Conference!

Monday, April 11
7:30 – 10:30 pm
​Dinner at Caribou Cafe 1126 Walnut Street

Tuesday, April 12
6:30 – 8:00 am
BYO Breakfast in a TBD room at the conference hotel

Please RSVP to so we have a count to provide to the restaurant for Monday night. Faculty members Tony Marker, Steve Villachica, and Lisa Giacumo will be attending. Who else can we count on for dinner Monday night?

March 2, 2016

OPWL grad Kelly Palmer photo

Congratulations to OPWL Alumn Kelly Palmer ’09 and LinkedIn’s CLO. She’s on the cover of Chief Learning Officer magazine and is the feature story!

March 1, 2016

OPWL grad Carlyn Blake photo

Executive Director of Usful Glass and OPWL Alum Carlyn Blake ’04 is giving back. You can too!

Usful Glassworks, provides basic job skills and work experience to people who are trying to enter the workforce and become self sufficient. This business manufactures glassware from empty beer, liquor, and wine bottles provided by Boise residents and businesses. The trainees in the Usful Glassworks program learn on the job, working in all departments of this small manufacturing company.

Proceeds from selling their lovely re-purposed glassware helps fund their work. However, their products are so popular they can’t make enough to meet customer demand! If they can increase their production output to meet the demand for their products, they can increase their revenue and support more people in need of job training.

This is where Sr Design is helping. A team of ten students from Electrical, Materials, and Mechanical Engineering is developing a flame polishing machine, and processes for it, to increase their output of glassware enough to meet the demand for Usful Glassware now, and into the near future. The team launched a PonyUp crowdfunding campaign a few weeks ago to raise funds for this project, but we have a funding gap to fill to fully fund the project.

Check out the PonyUp campaign at the link below. If you can, please help support it and pass it on to someone else!

February 23, 2016


The OPWL department, students, and alumni have at various times expressed a wish for some type of virtual professional community that would provide networking and professional opportunities beyond the OPWL program itself.

The Boise State OPWL department has joined forces with what was the ISPI Bay Area chapter in Northern California to form a new organizational chapter that operates virtually. It is called the ISPI Bay Area Boise State (BABS) chapter.

This is a relatively small, new-ish chapter, and it is actively seeking to grow and expand. There are lots of opportunities to get involved and help shape it. The chapter is actively seeking volunteers to help! But if you want to start by just dipping your toe in the water, you can also begin to attend some of our monthly webinars and start to get a feel for it (webinars are free to all BSU OPWL students).

Chapter membership for students is $30 per year; membership for non-students is $50 per year.

Find out more on the ISPI Bay Area Boise State Chapter page on the OPWL site.

February 17, 2016

Guddat, Hood, Zubak, Welch photo

Congratulations, Jerrod Guddat, Gordon Hood, Cheri Lockett Zubak, and Krista Welch, on publishing a summary of your OPWL 529 Needs Assessment class team project in ISPI’s PerformanceXpress Newsletter!

The summary is titled “Needs Assessment Case Study: How Should a University Onboard Students into a Learning Management System?”.

February 8, 2016

Beth McGoldrick photo

Congratulation alum Beth McGoldrick and RiverSource Insurance for receiving the Bronze award for ​Best Use of Blended Learning program for the Multi-Index UL & Survivorship IUL training plan implemented 2014-2015.

The 2014-2015 Brandon Hall Awards experienced a 60% increase in submissions making it their most competitive awards year to date. The 2014-2015 award submissions included work from iconic organizations such as Accenture, Adobe, American Red Cross, Bank of America, Boeing, California Pizza Kitchen, Cleveland Clinic, CVS Health, Dell, Ernst & Young, General Electric, Hewlett Packard, IBM, MasterCard, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Prudential, Sears Holdings, Shell, Siemens, Toyota, and Yum! Brands.

KUDO’s to RiverSource Insurance Team member and program graduate Beth McGoldrick ’09 for receiving the Brandon Hall Best Use of Blended Learning Bronze Award!

February 2, 2016

Gardin, Summers, Aument photo

Congratulations, Dr. Yonnie Chyung, Valerie Gardin, Aly Summers, and Kate Aument, for publishing two articles in eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Magazine!

This series of articles published in eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Magazine 1/25/2016 and 2/1/2016 contains demonstrations of the e-learning development projects that Valerie and Aly did in the OPWL 523 Rapid E-Learning Development class! Well done!

Developing Scenarios with RED Programs: Troubleshooting for Computer Lab Staff

Role-playing Scenarios Liberate eLearning from the “Page-turner” Box: Intoxicated Guests

January 28, 2016

Kelly Weak

The Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) department would like to welcome our new Operations Manager Kelly Weak.

Kelly Weak is a 2009 graduate of the program and brings with him over 12 years of experience working with university systems and a wealth of university contacts. Prior to this new position, Weak served as Boise State’s guest and conference housing manager.

Before coming to Boise State, he was a resident hall director at the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, California, and at the Loras College in DuBuque, Iowa. He earned his undergraduate degree from Montana State University.​

Kelly can be contacted directly at or by phone at 208-426-1312.

We are excited to have him as a member of the OPWL team and look forward to his contributions in the semesters to come.

January 5, 2016

Linda Burnett

Linda Burnett, operations manager for the Department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL), is retiring after more than 27 years of service to the university. A reception will be held in her honor on Thursday, Jan. 14 from 3:30-4:30 p.m., in the second floor atrium of the Engineering Building.

Burnett originally was hired in a temporary secretarial position in the Business Office program in the College of Technology in July 1988. In 1990, she was assigned to work in the Department of Instructional and Performance Technology (IPT), and this position became permanent in 1992. For the next 25 years, Burnett provided administrative, management and academic advising support for the OPWL (formerly IPT) department. As a classified employee, her title changed over the years. In 2013, she became operations manager, a professional staff position.

Her contribution to the OPWL department has been instrumental in numerous ways. She helped the department launch its first online course in 1990. While working for the department she earned the degree and assisted with five faculty hires, three name changes and a transition to an entirely online program.

In addition to her contribution to the department, Burnett was actively involved in service at Boise State. Each December and May, the university could count on her to volunteer to assist with Commencement. She also was actively involved in the Association of Classified Employees (ACE), serving as a senator as well as president. She was the 2009 recipient of the College of Engineering’s Staff Award for Excellence and the 2010 recipient of the ACE Outstanding Classified Employee award.

The entire OPWL department, students and graduates will miss her insight into department strategies and goals, her consistent focus on student needs, and her ability to wrangle faculty.

December 7, 2015

Anthony Marker
Anthony Marker
OPWL Professor
and Department Chair

A chapter written by several Boise State faculty and staff is part of a new book from Purdue University Press titled “Transforming Institutions: Undergraduate STEM Education for the 21st Century.” The chapter, “Applying the CACAO Change Model to Promote Systemic Transformation in STEM,” was written by Anthony Marker, Patricia Pyke, Sarah Ritter, Karen Viskupic, Amy Moll, R. Eric Landrum, Tony Roark, and Susan Shadle.

The CACAO (Change, Adopters, Change Agents, and Organizations) model provides a series of steps and strategies to guide a team toward achieving a specific change, and is a key part of the university’s WIDER PERSIST strategy.

With a greater push for STEM workers across industry, it is imperative that educators prepare students for the careers that will make them successful in today’s world. “Transforming Institutions” includes chapters from scholars on the leading edge of STEM education and offers insight on the challenges in STEM higher education.

November 16, 2015

Jo Ann Fenner photo

Jo Ann Fenner, OPWL’s Manager of Marketing and Outreach Services, is among the employees being recognized this month for their years of service at Boise State University. Jo Ann is being honored for 25 years at BSU, all of them in the Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning Department (formerly Instructional & Performance Technology). Jo Ann first served as a graduate assistant in the M.S. IPT program and was later hired on in a full-time professional staff position.

November 10, 2015

Dr. Michael Scriven and Dr. Yonnie Chyung

Evaluation thought-leader Dr. Michael Scriven with Dr. Yonnie Chyung at the American Evaluation Association (AEA) conference in Chicago, IL November 10, 2015.

November 10, 2015

Quincy Conley and Steve Villachica

The Association for Education, Communications and Technology (AECT) Division of Organizational Training and Performance awarded OPWL faculty Dr. Quincy Conley and Dr. Steve Villachica the 2015 Outstanding Roundtable Session Award for their paper: Real Projects, Real Clients: Preparing Performance Improvement Practitioners for the Workplace at the 2015 AECT International Convention, November 3 – 7, 2015 in Indianapolis, IN.

October 22, 2015

Linda Burnett


After 27 years at Boise State University, Linda Burnett, OPWL Operations Manager, has announced her retirement, effective January 15, 2016. A reception will be held in her honor after the first of the year. Between now and her retirement, Linda will be working with the department to ensure a smooth transition.

October 19, 2015


The OPWL Department will have two part-time Graduate Assistant openings in the spring 2016 semester.

Application Deadline: 5 pm (MST) Monday, November 16, 2015

For more information on the position or for application instructions, please visit

September 28, 2015

Don Winiecki

Don Winiecki authored two articles that were published in Performance Improvement Journal (PIJ).

PIJ publishes reports of applied research and practice in the field of performance improvement.

The articles are titled: “Comparing a Few Behavior Engineering Models (BEM)” and “Truth(s), Fiction, and Storytelling in Performance Improvement.”

The articles are contributions in a series through which Winiecki relates theory to practice using examples from the field of performance improvement.

September 14, 2015

Pat Ferrell photo

Day: Tue Sep 29, 2015
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (mountain)

How do savvy instructional designers conduct effective task analyses that allow them to build useful representations of exemplary performance that they can use for training design? In this first of two webinars, Pat will share tips and tools that will help you:

  • Establish your own credibility
  • Develop effective working relationships
  • Establish clear roles and responsibilities
  • Manage the workflow

She will also answer your questions.

Feel free to invite your boss!

Download the webinar software at (don’t use the web browser):

View the webinar at:

September 8, 2015

Don Winiecki

Dr. Don Winiecki, professor in the Department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) in the College of Engineering, has been awarded a grant from the Boise City Department of Arts & History to support an exhibition of fine art paintings generated by an experimental software program he is developing. A series of lectures describing the project and demonstrating the technical and artistic aspects of the software will accompany the exhibition.

The exhibition, titled `Making the Familiar Strange`, and presentations will be held at the BSU Student Union Gallery in April-May 2016.

The project and software are named `ANA`, and serve as the testbed for Winiecki’s phenomenological research into the development of machine-mediated-performance, artmaking and the translation of art concepts into the programming languages LISP and PROLOG (both of which are commonly used in the field of artificial intelligence).

A report describing aspects of this project was presented at the American Sociological Association (ASA) in 2014, and papers describing the project to the present are currently in review at peer-reviewed academic journals.

The upcoming art exhibition will be the second solo exhibition of art for Winiecki. A collection of his conventional paintings and drawings were shown at the `Heterotropias` exhibition held at the BSU Student Union Gallery in April-May 2013.

Examples of art generated by ANA

These are some examples of art generated by ANA that will appear among the 50 or so paintings in the show. Each image will be printed on canvas and stretched on a conventional frame for display. The long alphanumeric part of each title is the year, month, day, hour, minute and second the image was generated, and the parenthesized name is my more human-friendly title for each painting. Each image is copyrighted by Don Winiecki.

Don Winiecki - ANA

Title: ANA20130626163823
(Close Encounter)

Creator: Don Winiecki (ANA)

Don Winiecki - ANA

Title: ANA20150611094545 (Idaho Fire Season 1)

Creator: Don Winiecki (ANA)

Don Winiecki - ANA

Title: ANA20130701153 (Xray Clouds (I didn’t expect that))

Creator: Don Winiecki (ANA)

Rights: © Don Winiecki, 2014 Photo credit: Don Winiecki

September 7, 2015

Don Winiecki

The Department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) in the College of Engineering has partnered with Learning Technology Solutions (LTS) to improve online student support for the use of Blackboard.

According to Daniel Gold, associate director of LTS, the result of this partnership has already shown measurable impact for students and for the Boise State Help Desk.

The partnership between OPWL and LTS began when four students (Krista Welch, Cheryl Lockett-Zuback, Jerrod Guddat and Gordon Hood) in professor Don Winiecki’s OPWL529 Needs Assessment course in spring 2015 conducted a needs assessment to determine what information, advice and coaching students required in order to make effective use of Blackboard before, during and after taking a course.

Read the full story.

September 4, 2015


The campus community is invited to check out the iPerform Lab at an open house from 1-4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, in the Environmental Research Building, Room 3121.

Read more…

September 4, 2015

Quincy Conley

MSE 2015 Fall Seminar Series

Dr. Quincy Conley
iPerform: Human Engineering to Improve Performance in the Workplace

When: Friday, September 4th @ 10:30 am
Where: Engineering 110, Boise State University

August 27, 2015

ISPI’s Front Range Chapter (Denver, CO) is going VIRTUAL,
but is celebrating their relaunch with a happy hour FIESTA first!

Join new and known colleagues for an evening of fun and networking 5 – 7 pm, Wednesday, September 16 at Hacienda Colorado Denver’s West Patio

If you can’t make the FIESTA but are interested in learning more about joining a virtual chapter, contact OPWL graduate Leslie Harper at

August 27, 2015

OPWL students Janice Aull, Jeff Bartley, Colleen Olson and Lauren Weisberg have co-authored with Dr. Don Winiecki an article based on their OPWL529 `Needs Assessment` class project. This article has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal `Performance Improvement Quarterly` (PIQ).

Their article is titled “Lessons Learned While Completing A Needs Assessment of ITSS, Inc. Career Development Opportunities: A Case Study”.

The article is both a case study report and a critical reflective review of what it takes to conduct a professional-quality needs assessment that provides value-adding information to an organization.

The article abstract is included below:

ITSS, Inc. (a pseudonym) organization, a leading provider of IT solutions and services in North America, provides a career development program to its 7,000 employees. Recent data collected through surveys and utilization reports indicated lower than desired satisfaction levels with the organization’s various career development tools, resources, and programs, and participation in those programs. This was a concern for ITSS, which asserts that its employees’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes are a competitive advantage. In response, the organization engaged a team of graduate students from to examine potential performance issues arising from these observations. As a first-level priority, we identified a performance gap regarding the current structure of the organization’s career development program. Next, we launched a full needs assessment to uncover the root causes of the performance gap. Lastly, we identified and suggested interventions to improve performance-based outcomes for the organization. This study highlights the systematic and systemic approach we employed to define the performance outcomes and gap, analyze the causes, and align the most effective solutions to close the gap and support the organization’s goals.1 In addition to describing this case study in needs assessment, this article provides reflective descriptions of the actual process of sketching out the basic framework of the project, which included deciding how to use certain assessment methods, choosing informants, collecting and analyzing data, and arriving at findings and interventions. The goal of this added layer of information is to provided readers with a behind-the-scenes look at the process of a needs assessment, with the aim of demonstrating how needs assessments, like dedicated academic research, require inductive, deductive, and abductive thinking in order to provide value to the client organization.

July 20, 2015

WEBINAR: Learning to Act with Greater Wisdom: What Recent Neuroscience Tells Us

HOST: The ISPI Bay Area Chapter
DATE: Thursday, July 30
TIME: Noon (PST)
LINK: Register and receive a link to the webinar:

Learning to Act with Greater Wisdom: What Recent Neuroscience Tells Us
We live in a society that puts a premium on intellect. Yet, many of the world’s complex and stubborn—also known as “wicked”—problems defy intellectually based solutions. We find wicked problems at all levels, from the problems we face as individuals on a daily basis, to the problems we grapple with in our work as performance improvement professionals, to problems that societies and governments have struggled with for generations. Perhaps what we need is not greater intellect but instead greater wisdom and the capacity to act on that wisdom. Are there ways to act with greater wisdom?

Recent neuroscience suggests that yes, wisdom might be something we can actively develop. This session will be a presentation and discussion of what recent brain science says about how a greater mindfulness of our biologically driven tendencies may help us to both be wiser and act with greater wisdom. The simple (though not necessarily easy) steps you can take toward greater wisdom may surprise you.

Venue: Webinar
Time: 12:00pm PST
Speaker: Anthony Marker, Ph.D., LEED AP

Anthony Marker

About Tony Marker:

Tony Marker is an associate professor in the Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning Department in the College of Engineering at Boise State University. He comes from an industry background, having worked as a consultant in the greater Boston area examining obstacles to effective human performance in the workplace— information, tools, motivation. Much of that work focused on improving processes and making them more effective.

Tony is a LEED Accredited Professional and teaches graduate courses in improving human performance in the workplace, evaluation, the design of sustainable business processes, change management, and thinking in systems. His professional interests include applying systems and design principles toward addressing complex, long-term problems and creating processes and structures that help organizations develop wisdom, and that foster better decision making and a sustainable workplace.

Go to to view the recorded webinar!

May 15, 2015

Jeff Bartley

Outstanding Graduate Award

Each May and December, the OPWL faculty reviews the list of individuals graduating from the OPWL master’s degree program during the preceding semester and selects an individual to receive the “Outstanding Graduate Award.” Selection for this award is based on the individual’s earned GPA, performance on the portfolio defense, and contributions made to the OPWL community, both inside and outside of the classroom. For May 2015 the Outstanding Graduate was Jeff Bartley. Please join us in congratulating Jeff for his achievements.

May 13, 2015

Don Stepich 10 years

Don Stepich is the COEN 2015 Chair Extraordinaire

Don Stepich graciously shared his expertise in instructional design and strategies to graduate students in dozens of classes. Over the past ten years as chair – an extraordinary length of time for the position – he managed to take the OPWL department entirely online, change the department’s name, oversee the development of multiple graduate certificates, expand the number of faculty, and successfully steer it through the shoals of multiple tight budget cycles.

May 8, 2015

Boise State's OPWL May 2015 Graduates

Congratulations to OPWL’s May 2015 Graduates

Front Row L to R: Geoff Rohde, Verle-Ranae Hoskins, Sue Riddle.
Back Row L to R: Donald Winiecki, Teri Williamson, Jeff Bartley, Steve Villachica, and Matt Fennell

View more 2015 May Graduation photos

May 8, 2015

Don Stepich

The campus community is invited to join faculty, staff and friends for a retirement reception honoring Don Stepich, chair of the Department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL). The celebration will take place from 4-5 p.m. on Friday, May 8, in the second floor atrium of the Engineering Building.

In 1998, Stepich joined Boise State University as an online adjunct for OPWL. In 2003, he was hired as an associate professor and has served as the department chair since 2005.

Successful as a researcher, Stepich is also a strong advocate for the improvement of instructional processes and training in the industry. During his tenure as chair he shepherded the department through budget cuts, a shift to online delivery of courses, a departmental name change, the addition of multiple graduate certificates, and oversaw the graduation of nearly 400 students amongst other accomplishments.

Stepich relocated to Boise from Chicago and plans to stay here in retirement. He earned his Ph.D. in Education from Purdue University and taught as an associate professor at Northeastern Illinois University.

April 29, 2015

Quincy Conley

Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) Assistant Professor Quincy Conley presented “New-age statistics education: Leveraging mobile augmented reality for creating collaborative, problem-based learning experiences” at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Event held April 16-20 in Chicago, IL.

April 29, 2015

ISPI award 2015

OPWL graduates are recipients of ISPI’s 2015 Outstanding Human Performance Intervention award given at the 2015 Performance Improvement Conference in San Antonio, TX!
L to R: Shari Stein (2013), Brenda Nickel (2014), and David Torres (2012)

Congratulations OPWL graduates!!

April 29, 2015

ISPI San Antonio

The OPWL community at the ISPI conference!
Front row L to R: Alan Camerer, Tiffini Sorcic, Irish Nunn, Rebecca Oliver, Miki Turtsanyi
Second row L to R: Bryan Horveath, Leslie Harper, Chester Stevenson, Linda Urban, Dan Zink
Back row L to R: Mark Komosinski, Sarah Kuchta, Steve Villachica

March 17, 2015

Don Winiecki

The artwork of Don Winiecki, Professor in the department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL), has been selected to be included in the Albertsons Library’s 50th Anniversary Juried Art Exhibition from April 2 – May 3, 2015.

Read About the Art

Don Winiecki - ANA

Title: Arctic sea smoke (ANA20140908145633)

Creator: Don Winiecki (ANA)

Year Completed: 2014, September

Medium: Pigment ink on canvas

Dimensions: 25″ W x 42″ H

Description: This painting is a product of a computer program I am developing which approximates the intellectual and physical processes I go through when I am making a conventional drawing or painting with pens, crayons or brushes, pigment and canvas. The program is named ANA (which is an acronym for “ANA is Not Aaron”, which is in turn homage to Harold Cohen and his own art-generating software named Aaron).

ANA is not an example of artificial intelligence. Instead, it is a tool I am using to better understand the intellectual and physical processes I go through when drawing and painting. ANA, and my own development of it, are the focus of my phenomenological research in art, science, engineering and `becoming`. At present the program is in a phase where it attempts to produce skyscapes with evocative use of color, transparency and in some cases linework that abstractly echoes the format and other subject matter in the art. ANA uses algorithms that I have developed which approximate my own thought processes and aesthetics when choosing, mixing and applying color.

At present, these skyscapes attempt to provide the viewer with enough information to recognize some aspects of the subject matter, but to limit information such that the viewer is pushed back on his or her own life experiences to insert and/or extract links from the art to his or her own experiences. (NOTE that while most of my conventional drawing and painting is more realist in its form and content, ANA is forcing me to step all the way back to basics like color selection, color mixing, application and layering of color and placement of objects on the canvas. I don’t know if ANA will ever be able to produce realist art and in fact that is not its purpose.)

As an artifact of the above-described project, this painting represents only one of the things that have been produced in this project. Another part — not presented here — is computer programming code that encodes the abstract processes which enable paintings like this to be formed. The computer code is written in Common Lisp and is being developed by the artist using computers running the Linux (Ubuntu) operating system. This painting is generated by the software and saved as a PDF document which in turn is printed on a large-format plotter/printer operated and maintained by the BSU Art Department, Photography Lab.

Artist Statement: Art is only nominally about the artifact presented by an artist. The artifacts produced by an artist are an example and the fruition of what I consider to be the real accomplishment in art — the ideas, knowledge and thought processes an artist brings to bear in order to present some thing(s) that either express explicit ideas or which, with collaboration from viewers, open new conceptual space on or in which new ideas can be generated. ANA (which is an acronym for “ANA is Not Aaron”, which is in turn an homage to Harold Cohen and his own art-generating software named Aaron) is the name of a project of which I am using computer programming as my primary tool. Through the ANA project I aim to both investigate the process of art and to produce evocative imagery that can be presented to and enjoyed by others.

Rights: © Don Winiecki, 2014 Photo credit: Don Winiecki

February 20, 2015

Angela Wolthuis photo
Angela Wolthuis
Heather Lutz photo
Heather Lutz

Each May and December, the OPWL faculty reviews the list of individuals graduating from the OPWL master’s degree program during the preceding semester and selects an individual to receive the “Outstanding Graduate Award.” Selection for this award is based on the individual’s earned GPA, performance on the portfolio defense, and contributions made to the OPWL community, both inside and outside of the classroom.

For December 2014, the two Outstanding Graduates are Heather Lutz and Angela Wolthuis. Please join us in congratulating them for their achievements.

February 20, 2015


Organizers Eric Landrum, professor of psychology (left), and Steve Villachica, associate professor of organizational performance and workplace learning (middle), along with Greg Hahn, associate vice president for communications and marketing (right), reviewed highlights from the event and goals for the 2015 Summit during a campus conversation at the Bronco Zone Wednesday.

February 18, 2015

Susan Mason, Anthony Marker and Rebecca Mirsky

Associate Professors
Community and Regional Planning, Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning, and Construction Management

Rebecca Mirsky
Rebecca Mirsky
Anthony Marker
Anthony Marker
Susan Mason
Susan Mason

Susan Mason, associate professor of community and regional planning, was featured on Radio Boise’s “Building a Greener Idaho” radio program that aired on Feb. 3. The show focused on the research that led to a report and several manuscripts on green building as well as the topic of community engagement. Specifically, Mason discussed the “Green Building in the Pacific Northwest: Next Steps for an Emerging Trend” report she co-authored with colleagues Anthony Marker, associate professor of organizational performance and workplace learning, and Rebecca Mirsky, associate professor of construction management.

Mason also discussed findings from two additional papers she co-authored with Marker, one of which was also co-authored by Paul Morrow, an alumnus of the community and regional planning program.

To listen to a recording of the radio program now or read the first report on “Green Building in the Pacific Northwest,” click here.

The report’s research sponsors include: Avista, Boise State’s Office of Sustainability and its Public Policy Center, Capital City Development Corporation, City of Boise Planning and Development Services, City of Boise Public Works, Energy Policy Institute, Idaho Power and the Urban Land Institute-Idaho District Council.

February 20, 2015


We are currently accepting applications for OPWL Graduate Assistantships for the 2015-2016 academic year (Fall 2015 and Spring 2016).

Virtual GA positions are open to any individual who has been fully admitted to the OPWL master’s degree program regardless of their location. An OPWL GA is not required to relocate to Boise to fulfill the duties of the position. Virtual assistantships are awarded for the fall and spring semesters only. Full-time and half-time virtual GA positions are available.

Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. MDT on Sunday, March 15.

Visit: for instructions on how to apply.

Application materials should be emailed to Linda Burnett at”>.

November 7, 2014

Skills Summit 2014 logo

Skills Summit 2014— the first of what organizers hope will be an annual event — brought together industry and government leaders with faculty members on Oct. 29 to begin to build partnerships to address college-to-career transitions, workplace performance and readiness.

About 80 people attended and generated more than 80 new partnerships. The partners will continue to collaborate on a variety of issues related to preparing students for the workplace.

“Until the summit, we had a lot of faculty, deans and others at Boise State interested in improving the workplace readiness of our graduating students. Likewise, there were people in industry and government who hire our graduates. They are interested in decreasing new-hire ramp-up time to competent workplace performance,” said Steve Villachica, associate professor of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning.

“Until the summit, we largely worked in our respective silos. Skills Summit 2014 is the inaugural event of a permanent venue where this community of shared concern and practice can work together across traditional silos on efforts that will benefit us all.”

Data from the summit and a pre-summit survey will be analyzed and a ​new website will be developed that chronicles the summit and archives materials, including recordings, slides, handouts, video clips from the day, tweets and more.

To learn more, contact Villachica at or Eric Landrum, professor of psychology, at

November 6, 2014

Steve Villachica
Steve Villachica
Skills Summit 2014 logo

The first Idaho Skills Summit was held at Boise State University’s Stueckle Sky Center on October 30. The Summit, the brainchild of OPWL professor Steve Villachica and Psychology professor Eric Landrum, had the goal of building college-to-career readiness. With that end in mind, the Summit connected Boise State leaders with the state’s industry and government leaders and explored ways in which the Boise State can better prepare graduates to meet workplace performance expectations. Eric and Steve would like to thank President Bob Kustra and VP of Research and Economic Development Mark Rudin. Their support was essential to the success of the summit.

November 5, 2014

Performance Support Symposium logo

Performance Support Symposium 2015 Call for Speaking Proposals

Speaking proposals are now being accepted for Performance Support Symposium 2015. This event is designed for senior training and HR professionals who seek to shift their organizational strategy from being learning-centered to becoming more performance-centered. The 2015 Performance Support Symposium will focus on strategies, technologies, and best practices for performance support.

We are interested in sessions that address the needs of those at all levels of experience with performance support, particularly sessions that offer focused, in-depth, and practical solutions, ideas, strategies, techniques, and/or case studies in the following four topic areas:

  • Strategy: Methodologies and tools to build a business case for performance support, demonstrate its success, and nurture its growth in an organization
  • Getting Started: Explore the critical first steps to start building performance support solutions and incorporating performance support into organizational culture
  • Implementation: Replicable best practices that will make performance support projects more efficient and effective
  • Integration: How performance support fits into and enhances existing organizational learning strategy

If you have any questions about submitting your proposal, please contact David Kelly at

The deadline for submissions is Friday, December 5, 2014.

October 20, 2014

AEA conference
Collen Olson (’14), Stacey Olachea (’14) and Yonnie Chyung

A group of faculty and graduates in the Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning department presented three roundtable and poster sessions at the American Evaluation Association conference in Denver, Colorado during October 15th and 18th, 2014.

  • Stacey Olachea, Colleen Olson, and Yonnie Chyung presented, “A Systematic Evaluation of a Soccer Club’s College Advisory Program”
  • Yonnie Chyung and Quincy Conley presented, “How Novice Evaluators Learn by Doing During a Project-Based Course”
  • Yonnie Chyung presented, “A Method to our Madness: Evaluation Teaching Techniques”

October 20, 2014

Steve Villachica
Skills Summit 2014 logo

Skills Summit to Build College-to-Career Readiness

The first of what organizers hope will be an annual event is joining industry and government leaders with faculty members to improve workplace performance and readiness.

Skills Summit 2014 will spotlight Treasure Valley businesses and Boise State University as statewide leaders in purposeful college-to-career transitions. It also will create a network of continuous transdisciplinary community engagement and a series of ongoing collaborative partnerships.

Conversations will be hosted on Wednesday, Oct. 29, in the Stueckle Sky Center.

Contact Steve Villachica, associate professor of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning, at or Eric Landrum, professor of psychology, at for more information.

October 2, 2014

Photo: Street to the house of Marie Currie
Anthony Marker

Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning Associate Professor Anthony Marker presented an Introduction to Human Performance Technology pre-conference workshop at ISPI’s EMEA (Europe-Middle East-Asia) 12th Annual Conference Cultivating a Culture of Performance Improvement. The workshop, targeted to practitioners new to the field, focused on learning how to manage the fundamental three pillars of the performance improvement process: Problem Analysis, Evaluation of Valued Results, and Successful Implementation. The conference was held September 25-27 in Warsaw, Poland.

View the photo gallery

September 18, 2014

Don Winiecki

Don Winiecki - ANA

Don Winiecki, Professor in the department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) in the College of Engineering, has presented `An initial report in a phenomenology of computer-programming as art-making` at the 2014 meeting of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco, August 16-19.

In this presentation Winiecki reported the initial stages of a project using the philosophical position of phenomenology for studying the process of learning and using computer programming as a medium for producing fine-art paintings.

The project aims to study `from the inside, out`, the processes of discovery, experimentation, and learning-in-action that are required to perform transdisciplinary work involving normally-unaffiliated domains. This involves blending art and science in a way that forces a unique view on processes of independent learning and creation.

Artwork produced in this project and lectures describing project development and discoveries are planned for exhibition and presentation in 2015.

August 22, 2014

corbett-gerome-nunn photo

Congratulations, James Corbett, Karen Gerome, and Iris Nunn, on publishing a summary of your OPWL530 Evaluation team project in ISPI’s PerformanceXpress September ’14 issue!

September 3, 2014

Anthony Marker

Dr. Anthony Marker will be presenting Applying the CACAO Change Facilitation Model to Promote Systemic Transformation at the 2014 Transforming Institutions: 21st Century Undergraduate STEM Education Conference held October 23 & 24 in Indianapolis, IN.

August 22, 2014

Don Winiecki

An article titled `You are wrong about your model. Here is how to fix things` by Don Winiecki of the department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) in the College of Engineering has been published in the August 2014 issue of the journal Performance Improvement.

The article provides a structured means for improving one’s ability to make use of abstract theoretical models in real-world applications that involve potentially confounding factors. The article also forecasts the adaptation of models to suit non-ideal situations and identification of ways to blend several models in order to extend and customize them for a given purpose.

August 22, 2014

Congratulations, Robbie Proulx and Tiffany Smith, on publishing a summary of your OPWL530 Evaluation team project in ISPI’s PerformanceXpress August ’14 issue!

July 2014

Apking and Glynn photo

View the recorded webinar.

Join us for an interesting take on a client/consultant relationship—from an internal client and her external consultant. During their time with us, Anne Apking and Kathy Glynn will:

  • Compare and contrast learning and performance improvement professional’s POV from inside and outside the organization.
  • Describe how they work together (roles, responsibilities, expectations).
  • Review a project they’ve completed (need, our approach, our solution, execution, results).
  • Share secrets of their success.
  • Answer your questions.

July 2014

Aliya Malik and John Wyville photo

OPWL student Aliya Malik and OPWL graduate John Wyville (2013) were webinar presenters in ISPI Montreal’s Capsule Presentations hosted Thursday, July 10.

July 2014

The Boise State University Student Health Services Office will allow degree seeking online students in self-support programs to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP) during the 2014-2015 year.

Eligibility requirements: online degree seeking students in self-support programs with 12 or more undergraduate credits or 9 or more graduate credits.

Students must contact the Health Insurance and Billing Office at or (208) 426-2158 no later than the 10th day of classes each semester to have the fees added to their student account. The same contact information should be used when students have questions about SHIP.

Because students in the self-support program have the option to voluntarily participate in SHIP, they will pay a slightly higher rate which the Plan Snapshot will show. Also, students who live outside of Idaho have access to the First Health Network ( to find service providers who work with this insurance program.

As the program representative, you may contact Marika Butler, Health Insurance and Billing Office Coordinator, at 426-2158 or with your questions. Again, please advise students to for asking questions.

June 25, 2014

Brown & Vecchione photo

Talking Shop: An OPWL Webinar with Deana Brown, Amy Vecchione, and Hans Aagard

Boise State’s Albertsons Library uses personas, prototyping, and usability testing to improve its website. Join Deana Brown, Amy Vecchione, and Hans Aagard as they:

  • Describe the reasons why their team is using personas, prototyping, and usability testing.
  • Share their work in progress and the team’s lessons learned.
  • Answer your questions.

The recorded webinar can be viewed on the OPWL webinar page.

June 2014

Urban, Christenson, Benson

Congratulations 2013 OPWL graduates Linda Urban, Marnie Christenson, and Susan Benson on publishing a summary of your 530 evaluation project in ISPI’s PerformanceXpress June 2014 issue!

Learning the Ropes of Program Evaluation: A Case Study.

More Tales from the Field

June 2014

St. Lukes photo

OPWL Alumni improving workplace performance in ways organizations value!

With a number of considerable challenges and transitions facing the health care industry, including the Affordable Health Care Act, more people than ever before are seeking healthcare and hospitals are ramping up efforts to improve care and lower costs. In the center of that charge at St. Luke’s Health System in Boise are a cadre of Boise State alumni working as learning and development solutions analysts in the health system’s Center for Learning and Development (CLD).

All but one of the seven staff members are graduates of Boise State’s Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) master’s program. The program provides students with the tools needed to improve workplace performance and sharpen desired outcomes. The other team member received her undergraduate degree at Boise State before going on to earn a graduate degree from the University of Idaho.

Back: Charity Arthur, Brian Thompson, Billy Hamilton-Vail, Joann Swanson
Middle: Theresa Brittain, Machel Sandfort, Pam Twilegar
Front: DeAnn Allen, Allison Sesnon

Read the entire story

May 2014

Bryan Horveath and Don Stepich photo

May 2014 Outstanding Graduate

Each May and December, the OPWL faculty reviews the list of individuals graduating from the OPWL master’s degree program during the preceding semester and selects an individual to receive the “Outstanding Graduate Award.” Selection for this award is based on the individual’s earned GPA, performance on the portfolio defense, and contributions made to the OPWL community, both inside and outside of the classroom.

For May 2014, the Outstanding Graduate is Bryan Horveath from Orefield, PA. Please join us in congratulating Bryan for his achievements. And if you’re interested, ask him about the 2014 ISPI Case Study Competition. Bryan was a member of the winning team, representing the OPWL program.

May 16, 2014

poster presentation photo

Jeff Alger (May’14) and Karen Baerlocher (May ’14) did a poster presentation of the evaluation project conducted with fellow teammate Kim Harris (August ’13) at the 2014 Graduate Student Research Symposium Friday, May 16.​

May 2014

STC logo

The Society for Technical Communication (STC) is offering Boise State OPWL students AND graduates a discounted membership!

Current BSU students and recent graduates can join STC and save 20% on already discounted membership (dues as low as $42 for the rest of 2014).

Current students, enter STCBSU14 to save on student memberships; new graduates, use DISCOUNT20 at the checkout to save on your New TC Professional membership and start on a road to success and career satisfaction.

Colleen Olson photo

April 2014

The Excellence in OPWL Practice Award is presented twice a year to an individual in the OPWL master’s degree program who is an exemplary learner, has used evidence-based practices in his or her work, and has made important contributions to the OPWL professional community beyond the classroom. For the spring 2014 semester, the recipient of this award is Colleen Olson. Colleen was nominated by one of her classmates, who said (in part):

"I … can honestly say that Colleen has been by far the best teammate I have ever had in this program. Colleen’s insights to our class work were really good. I often found myself discussing evaluation topics outside of our project with her to increase my own understanding. She never took offense when a team member disagreed with her ideas/opinions. She was professional at all times. In addition, she continuously relayed all conversations back to an evaluation topic. This really aided me in my own learning of evaluation methods… Colleen is a step above the rest."

Please join us in congratulating Colleen as the recipient of the spring 2014 Excellence in OPWL Practice Award.

2014 ISPI competition photo

April 14, 2014

A team of students from Boise State’s Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) program won the sixth annual University Case Study Competition sponsored by the International Society for Performance Improvement.

Each team worked on the same simulation, presented in the form of a case study. The client was a company that provides gear, coaching and guidance for “epic adventures and extreme sports.” Rapid expansion has made it difficult to maintain a consistent pipeline of store managers. The teams were asked to recommend solutions for this problem.

Teams began work in January, submitted written proposals to the client at the beginning of April, made an in-person presentation to a panel of company executives during the International Society for Performance Improvement conference in Indianapolis, Ind., and responded to questions from the panel.

After the judging was completed, the proposal presented by the Boise State University team was chosen as the best set of solutions and the team was named the winner of the competition.

Congratulations OPWL Case Study Team Members
L to R: Alan Camerer, Dan Zink, Tiffini Sorcic, and Bryan Horveath

View all of our photos of the 2014 ISPI Conference.

March 20, 2014

The OPWL Colloquium: A Webinar with Michaels & Associates

Jerry Stanley
Jerry Stanley
Hilary Buchholz
Hilary Buchholz
Sherry Michaels
Sherry Michaels

Please join us for a webinar with a panel of thought leaders from an innovative learning solutions organization, Michaels & Associates. This team of experts has decades of experience designing and developing face-to-face training, online/blended learning solutions, and state-of-the-art performance support systems for an array of industries.
To learn more about Michaels & Associates, please visit:
To read the panelists’ biographies click here.

During this 1-hour webinar, the panel will:

  • Discuss how they got into the field and the jobs they hold today
  • Show examples of personas, prototypes, usability tests, and other in-progress work
  • Identify emerging trends in instructional design, technology, and performance improvement
  • Answer your questions.

If you missed the live webinar you can view the recorded webinar on our site.

March 2013

Congratulations, Stacey Olachea, Colleen Olson, and Ben Davis, on publishing a summary of your OPWL 530 Evaluation team project in ISPI’s PerformanceXpress March ’14 issue!

Case study evaluating a competitive soccer club’s college advisory program

March 13, 2014

ASTD Treasure Valley presents Boise State Associate Professor Dr. Heidi Reeder and “The Commitment Equation” 11:30 am – 1:00pm Thursday, March 13 in the Student Union Building ‘Lookout Room’ at Boise State University.

This is a no cost event. Bring your own brown bag lunch.

Click this link to view the flyer.

March 5, 2014

The OPWL Colloquium: A Webinar with Cammy Bean

Please join us for a webinar with Cammy Bean, Kineo’s VP of Learning Design and a frequent conference presenter. Cammy has vast experience in creating technology-based learning solutions for a variety of clients. During her hour with us, she will:

  • Talk about how she got into the field and the job she holds today.
  • Demonstrate the relationship among eLearning performance requirements, prototypes, and finished coursework at Kineo.
  • Discuss workplace expectations for entry-level and senior IDs.
  • Answer your questions.

If you missed the live webinar you can view the recorded webinar on our site.


Cammy Bean

Cammy Bean is the VP of Learning Design for Kineo US (, a global provider of technology based learning solutions. With a focus on technology-based learning since the mid-90’s, Cammy has worked on projects for a wide range of industries including financial services, retail and manufacturing. At Kineo she takes the lead on learning design, working closely with clients from concept to execution. A frequent conference speaker and active blogger, you can see what’s on her mind at

February 24, 2014

Dr. Diane Dormant
Dr. Diane Dormant

Training Magazine’s 6th place ranking in the TOP 125, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. garnered a ‘Best Practices’ recognition because they incorporated two distinct elements:
The concept of “Project Assurance” by Rob Prinzo
The 5-step Dormant Change Management Model from the user’s perspective:

  • Advertise
  • Inform
  • Demonstrate
  • Train
  • Support

To read more, here is the Best Practices article and here is a link to the Top 125.

Congratulations Dr. Dormant!

February 28, 2013

Congratulations, Valerie Alley, Elizabeth Martin, Geoff Rohde, and Angie Wolthuis, on publishing a summary of your OPWL529 Needs Assessment team project in ISPI’s PerformanceXpress February’14 issue!

Needs Assessment Case Study: Preserving Patient Safety

February 10, 2014

Michael Lindsay
Left to Right:
Dan Raymond (Performance Plus, Inc),
Michael Lindsay,
Tim Quiram (Deputy Director,
USCG Performance Technology Center)


2009 OPWL graduate CWO4 Michael Lindsay, is the 2013 recipient of the Swaringen Award for outstanding mentorship in Human Performance Technology (HPT). This prestigious award recognizes exemplary individual achievement in the selfless development of others in the application of HPT. The field of human performance technology is characterized as looking for on-the-job performance deficiencies attributed to factors other than just a lack of skill and knowledge.

The nomination of CWO4 Lindsay, from the Boat Forces and Cutter Operations Branch (BFCO) at TRACEN Yorktown, included testimonials from Coast Guard active duty and civilian members that he has mentored and positively impacted. He was described as providing,”…tireless teamwork during the last year on Integrated Process Teams, developing a new Senior Bridge Management course, and a major overhaul of the Boat Forces Standardization Team assessment process…” Other testimonials stated, “In… three years he has redefined the very way we look at, understand, and provide interventions to the Boat Forces Performance System. In fact, Boat Forces Performance System was not a term used prior to his arrival but is now understood due in no small part to his persistent lessons in Human Performance Technology.”

Fourteen USCG officers have received the Swaringen Award, and two, 2006 recipient Alan Wheaton and 2013 recipient Michael Lindsay were students or graduates of the Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning program.

Congratulations Michael Lindsay!

February 7, 2014

Dr. Quincy Conley Google Glass

OPWL faculty member Dr. Quincy Conley has been selected to develop and test applications for Google Glass.

Google Glass is a wearable computer in the form of eyewear that includes an optical head-mounted display (OHMD). The Explorer Edition, as shown in the picture of Dr. Conley, receives data through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to share data connection.

Google is developing this technology as part of the global research and development project, called Project Glass. The mission of Project Glass is to produce a mass-market ubiquitous computer. To achieve that end, Project Glass is recruiting researchers and developers from all domains to explore the possibilities of the innovative technology by inviting “bold, creative individuals” who want to develop and test the device for different applications.

Project Glass has selected Dr. Conley to be one of those individuals and will be focusing his research on how the emerging technology of augmented reality can be used to improve performance in the workplace and in the classroom.

For more information on this project, contact Quincy Conley at

January 31, 2014

The work of colleagues in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning, in the College of Engineering, are highlighted in the editor notes of the January 2014 edition of the Performance Improvement Journal. Editor James A. Pershing draws attention to an article written by faculty members Anthony Marker, Steve Villachica and Don Stepich and graduate students DeAnn Allen and Lorece Stanton.

Read more…

January 23, 2014

Perri Kennedy, a 2012 graduate of the Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) department, in collaboration with OPWL professors Yonnie Chyung and Donald Winiecki, and internationally known evaluation expert Robert Brinkerhoff, has published a research article in a peer-reviewed research journal, the International Journal of Training and Development (Volume 18, Issue 1). The article is titled, “Training professionals’ usage and understanding of Kirkpatrick’s Level 3 and Level 4 evaluations.”

January 2014

Linda Urban

December 2013 Outstanding Graduate is Linda Urban

Read her testimonial

January 2014

Congratulations, Jeff Alger, Karen Baerlocher, and Kim Harris, on publishing a summary of your OPWL 530 Evaluation team project in ISPI’s PerformanceXpress January ’14 issue!

Case Study: Evaluating a High School Associated Student Body Program

January 2014

Susan Benson

August 2013 Outstanding Graduate is Susan Benson

Read her testimonial

December 10, 2013

Jeff Turner

Excellence in OPWL Practice Award – Fall 2013 recipient is Jeff Turner

The Excellence in OPWL Practice Award is presented twice a year to an individual in the OPWL master’s degree program who is an exemplary learner, has used evidence-based practices in his or her work, and has made important contributions to the OPWL professional community beyond the classroom.

For the fall 2013 semester, the recipient of this award is Jeff Turner from Boise, Idaho. In his work, Jeff routinely identifies and applies fundamental OPWL principles with a clear understanding that performance improvement is the ultimate outcome of his efforts. In his classes, Jeff’s contributions to class discussions and activities regularly help others recognize important concepts in readings and identify ways to employ evidence-based practices in the context of team projects.

Please join us in congratulating Jeff as the recipient of the fall 2013 Excellence in OPWL Practice Award.

December 6, 2013

Yonnie Chyung

Dr. Chyung and OPWL graduates in the news.
Read more:

November 19, 2013

Don Winiecki

Don Winiecki a professor in the Department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning in the College of Engineering, has announced the release of version 2.6.10 of the open-source software GNU Common Lisp (GCL). Read More.

November 2013

Editor's Choice

Boise State University eCampus was selected as an Editor’s Choice by

November 4, 2013

Quincy Conley

The OPWL department welcomes new faculty member Dr. Quincy Conley

October 29, 2013

Stepich and Villachica

Tuesday, October 29 Drs. Stepich and Villachica are presenting “Job-Focused Objectives & Problem-Based Learning at CISPI’s Fall Skill Building Conference

Conference Files:
Job Focused Objectives and Problem Based Learning – Slides (.pptx)
Job Focused Objectives and Problem Based Learning (.docx)

October 14, 2013

Yonnie Chyung, professor of organizational performance and workplace learning (OPWL), and Perri Kennedy, an OPWL alumna, presented papers at the American Evaluation Association 2013 conference, “Evaluation Practice in the Early 21st Century,” held Oct. 14-19 in Washington, D.C.

Kennedy and Chyung presented “Barriers to Behavior-Based and Outcome-Based Evaluations of Workplace Training,” based on Kennedy’s master’s thesis research findings.

Chyung also presented “Ten Steps for Conducting an Improvement- and Accountability-Oriented Program Evaluation in a Semester-long Project-based Course” during the panel discussion, “Teaching of Evaluation: A Method to Our Madness-Program Evaluation Teaching Techniques.”

October 2013

Anthony Marker

Dr. Anthony Marker is a member of a Boise State University interdisciplinary team that was awarded a $2 million grant with the goal of increasing evidence based best teaching and learning practices in foundational science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses.

Visit Boise State’s UPDATE to read about his role on the team and the use of Dr. Dormant’s change management model.

September 25, 2013

Anthony Marker

Opening Ceremony

Wine Reception


Georgian Parliament

Dr. Marker’s Missives from ISPI-Europe*Middle East *Africa (EMEA)

Day 2
Was a good day. The Intro to Human Performance workshop went well. About 30 attendees. Well attended for this conference. Then I was able to have a nice long conversation with Juan Pablo Ortiz, the other workshop presenter. He does executive training and is based out of Sweden. While some notable people are missing, the ones that are here are engaged and active. The city is beautiful and every day on my walk from my hotel to the conference site I pass the Georgian Parliament. Really, quite stunning.

Day 1
I have just arrived in Georgia’s capital city of Tbilisi which is actually one of my favorite cities for the ISPI-EMEA conference so far. Roger, Michael and ISPI-EMEA organizer Carol Panza took a trip out to the Pheasant Tears Winery today. Driving through the countryside feels like sliding back in time to the 1940’s or 50’s. The winery is in a picturesque little village on a hill overlooking this vast valley. On the other side of the valley we could see the mountains that mark the border between Georgia and Russia. We were given a private tour of the winery, where they make wine using an ancient (8,000 year old) method that involves maturing the wine in beeswax lined clay pots set into the earth rather than the more common method using wooden casks. It really did have a different flavor. And, of course, it was good to catch up with the ISPI-EMEA crew.

On the way back from the winery, we stopped off at this little medieval castle that was just sitting there. We were commenting on how, if it had been in the US, it would have been vandalized in about 2 seconds because there were no doors, locks, guards. Or, it would have been tightly shut to prevent someone from going in, doing something stupid and hurting themselves, and then suing the government. In this case, it was just open for anyone to go into though it did have the Georgian flag flying from one of the ancient towers.

The conference this year will have approximately 96 attendees which will make for a good crowd for this venue. Today, I have a 3.5 hour workshop that is an introduction to human performance with approximately 25 to 30 people signed up to attend. Then, one of the other presenters cancelled at the last minute and I’ve offered to stand in and give a presentation on change management. The change management presentation will be tomorrow (Thursday).

See all of Dr. Marker’s photos

September 25, 2013

Chyung and Virgilio

Chyung and Virgilio pictured above.

Research article “An investigation of the profiles of satisfying and dissatisfying factors in e-learning” by Yonnie Chyung, Professor of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL), and Mark Vachon, an OPWL alum, which was published in a research journal, Performance Improvement Quarterly, in 2005, was invited to be reprinted in the current issue of that journal as one of five selected influential articles from the past in the performance improvement field. Chyung’s research discusses ways to deal with ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ attrition in online learning environments.

In this current journal issue, Professor Chyung and an OPWL student (Chyung’s graduate assistant), Susan Virgilio, also published an article with an update on the previous research topic “Watching both sides of the e-learning satisfaction seesaw.”

Chyung, S. Y., & Vachon, M. (2005/2013). An investigation of the profiles of satisfying and dissatisfying factors in e-learning. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 18(2), 97-113, Invited to be reprinted in Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 117-134.

Chyung, S. Y., & Virgilio, S. (2013). Watching both sides of the e-learning satisfaction seesaw. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 135-140.

September 2013

Corinna Provant-Robishaw

IPT Graduate Corinna Provant-Robishaw (2010) with Boise State University Department of Respiratory Care faculty member Jeff Anderson presented “Conversion of Medical Terminology Course to High Enrollment Online Course” at the 29th Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, held August 8 -9 at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Read More.

This video was created to provide a way for individuals to share their Boise State experience. It includes many of the clips submitted as part of a recent promotional campaign that invited people to submit images and video that exemplified the Boise State experience.

September 2013

Bethany Daniels

OPWL student Bethany Daniels is displaying her artwork at an ArtPrize event from September 18 – October 6 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. is an independently organized art competition with the competition winners decided entirely by public vote. Read more.

September 2013

OPWL student Robbie Proulx was selected as one of two recipients of the 2013 Society for Technical Communication (STC) – Instructional Design and Learning (IDL) scholarship award. As part of the award, Proulx wrote an article about an evaluation project she completed in her graduate study which was published in the Newsletter of the STC’s Instructional Design and Learning SIG.

Proulx, R. (2013). e-Book computer training: Evaluating a small training program. In IDeal: Design for Learning, Q3 2013 (pp. 7-9). Society for Technical Communication.

September 2013

New Book From BSU IPT Alum Dave Wile (94′): Why Doers Do

If you wrestle with the question of why teams are not performing at their highest levels, you might want to check out his new book, entitled “Why Doers Do” at

August 2013

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho and Boise State Partner Up to Create Award Winning Training

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Idaho recently won an award for a service standards training that was created by a team of Boise State Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) students. RMHC Global’s team selected it as the winning entry for Management Effectiveness at the 2013 International Conference in Chicago. The winning Service Standards Training beat 3 other finalists in the Management Effectiveness category. As part of the award, RMHC Idaho also received a $10,000 unrestricted grant.

The OPWL student team of Allison Sesnon, Amanda Collins, Stephanie Clark, and Julie Kwan created the training as their project for the OPWL instructional design course.

RMHC Executive Director Mindy Plumlee notes “this prestigious award showcases a great partnership with Boise State University and brings funding that will help our local chapter.”

August 2013

Travis Collier

IPT graduate Travis Collier (2010) was elected President-elect of the Armed Forces Chapter.

August 22, 2013

Don Winiecki

Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning professor Donald Winiecki was quoted in an Idaho Statesman story about the work experience and pay in call centers across the country and here in the Treasure Valley. Winiecki’s research involved studying Treasure Valley call center operations from 2002 to 2004. In his research he learned that much contemporary call center work is part-time and pays a very modest wage for what can be very challenging work. He also noted that some call centers are countering what is often perceived to be a negative work culture by “implement more worker-friendly tactics to stem turnover.”

August 2013

2014 ISPI Case Study Competition — CALL for APPLICATIONS

The International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) has invited the Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning Department at Boise State University to participate in the 2014 ISPI Case Study Competition.

The Case Study Competition will consist of teams from several universities. Each team will be made up of 4 graduate students and a faculty sponsor. The competition will be conducted via a web portal beginning in January 2014 and concluding with an in-person presentation at ISPI’s Performance Improvement Conference April 13-16, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

May 2013

Julie Kwan

Each May and December, the IPT Program Committee reviews the list of students graduating from the IPT master’s degree program during the preceding semester and selects an individual to receive the Outstanding Graduate Award. Selection for this award is based on earned GPA, performance on the portfolio defense, and contributions to the IPT community, both within and beyond the classroom. The winner of the award is announced during the IPT dinner the evening before the commencement and receives a plaque.

For May 2013, the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Award is Julie Kwan. Please join us in congratulating Julie.

May 2013

Don Winiecki - Heterotropias

Student Union Fine Arts presents a new exhibition titled “Heterotropias: Institutional Structures and Subjectivities by Don Winiecki” from May 4-June 4 in the Student Union Gallery.

Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. The SUB Gallery is located on the second floor of the Student Union Building.

Based on his observations as a sociologist, Boise State instructional and performance technology professor Don Winiecki visually investigates the effects and affects of institutional structures on the production of subjectivity. Through the use of conventional realism and academic formality, as well as evocative non-representational forms, Winiecki’s painting and drawing installation invites viewers to interact with and encounter multiple ways of seeing, perceiving and potentially responding to those structures.

April 2013

Don Stepich and Steve Villachica

Don Stepich and Steve Villachica, faculty in the Department of Instructional and Performance Technology, presented “Problem-Based Learning that Transfers to the Workplace” at the Annual 2013 Performance Improvement Conference held in Reno, Nev., April 14-17.

A Research-to-Practice Symposium was held at that same conference and Villachica presented “When Performance is Fuzzy: The Critical Incident Technique.”

Also, the conference’s 2013 Awards of Excellence recognized IPT graduate Joe Kirby’s (’96) outstanding work creating a volunteer development system for California’s Ventura County Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP).

April 2013

ISPI Conference BSU attendees

IPT students, alumni and faculty meet for breakfast at the 2013 Performance Improvement Conference held in Reno, NV.

Back Row (L to R): Don Stepich, Dennis Nichols (’00), Bill Blunt (’96), John Wyville, Brett Christensen (’10), Linda Urban, Brent Williams (’02)
Second Row (L to R): Allison Sesnon (’12), Bonnie Spencer (’98), Leslie Harper (’11), Eboni DuBoise
Front Row (L to R): Al Crain (’02), Perri Kennedy (’12), Steve Villachica

March 12, 2013

David Barnes photo

IPT Graduate, David Barnes (’98) was a featured speaker at a recent Boise State University Scholarship dinner.

More than 300 people celebrated the generosity of those who support Boise State student scholarships Tuesday night at the Boise State Scholarship Dinner — an annual event held to introduce donors to the students they support. Laura Simic, vice president for advancement at Boise State (second from left) poses with David Barnes, Department of Instructional and Performance Technology, and Kelsea Moore, Brooke Cramblitt and Brady Lawrence, featured speakers who talked about how receiving scholarships has impacted their lives or the lives of their loved ones.

March 2013

Michelle Glasgow

You are invited to attend Michelle Glasgow’s thesis defense on March 20.

When: 2:00 p.m. MDT Wednesday, March 20

Where: MEC, Room 202J

Title: “Using HPT Principles in Defining the Exemplary Family”

Program: Master of Science in Instructional & Performance Technology

Advisor: Don Winiecki

February 2013

Scott Tagg, MS, Instructional & Performance Technology ’97, has been promoted to Colonel in the US Air Force Reserve. Colonel Tagg has 33 years of military service and is currently assigned as the US Air Force Emergency Preparedness Liaison
to the State of Idaho Military Division at Gowen Field in Boise.

February 2013

Steve Villachica & Ed MacDougall

Dr. Steve Villachica and IPT alum Ed MacDougall ’10 met for dinner in Mesa, Arizona prior to Dr. Villachica presenting “But What’s Happening On the Job? An Investigation of “Fresh Outs’” at the Conference for Industry & Education Collaboration (CIEC) held in Phoenix, AZ February 6 – 8.

February 6, 2013

Name change for BSU’s IPT program

After 25 years, the Instructional and Performance Technology (IPT) department at BSU is changing to a new name. Beginning in August of 2013, the name of the department will be Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL). At the same time, the name of the department’s certificate in Human Performance Technology (HPT) is changing to Workplace Performance Improvement (WPI). Transition to the new names will take place over the next several months as administrative, course, and website materials are changed. Summer classes will have an IPT prefix. However, fall classes will have an OPWL prefix and students will see this beginning March 12, 2013. Please note that this change takes effect with the fall 2013 semester so it does NOT change anything about spring 2013 courses.

These changes follow the recommendation from a 2011 external review to create a new department name that “embraces the present and future scope of the department and that is understandable to a wide audience of scholars and practitioners.” We think the new department name accomplishes this. It better represents our emphasis on learning in workplace settings and our focus on learning as one alternative for improving performance in organizations. It also better represents the kind of work that graduates do after completing their degree or certificate.

While the department name will be new, the department curriculum will be unchanged. Degree and certificate requirements will be the same, course content and delivery will be the same, and the department’s commitment to high-quality online professional education will be the same. The name of the MS degree and HPT certificate will change. For individuals who graduate in May and August of 2013, the MS degree will be called Instructional and Performance Technology (IPT) and the certificate will be called Human Performance Technology (HPT). However, for individuals who graduate in December 2013 and later, the MS degree will be called Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) and the certificate will be called Workplace Performance Improvement (WPI).

If you’re a current student in the department, no action on your part is necessary. You can simply continue with your courses. However, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your advisor — either Jo Ann Fenner ( or 208/426-2489) or Linda Burnett ( or 208/426-1312).

February 1, 2013

Anthony MarkerRebecca Mirsky

Tony Marker, associate professor in Instructional & Performance Technology, and Rebecca Mirsky, associate professor in Construction Management, presented a session on sustainability for the 8th annual Boise Safety Fest of the Great Northwest, held Jan. 22-25.

Read more at this link:

February 1, 2013

Society for Technical Communication (STC) announces a SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY

The IDL SIG scholarship was created to assist students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree, graduate degree, or certificate in the area of Instructional Design. Students applying for this scholarship are expected to demonstrate their focus on topics related to Instructional Design through their academic studies, current jobs, graduate or certification program, or special projects.

We will offer two IDL SIG scholarships this year for college students:
$500 for one undergraduate student
$750 for one graduate student

The awards, wholly funded by the IDL SIG, will be sent directly to the financial aid or registrar’s office of the winner’s university. All winners and honorable mentions will be featured in the IDL SIG quarterly newsletter.

Deadline for entries is Friday, March 8th.

Brad Inderbitzen named the Fall 2012 Outstanding IPT Graduate!

Brad Inderbitzen

Each May and December, the IPT faculty reviews the list of students graduating from the IPT master’s degree program during the preceding semester/s and selects an individual to receive the Outstanding Graduate Award. Selection for this award is based on the individual’s earned GPA, exceptional performance on the portfolio defense, and outstanding contributions to the IPT community, both inside and outside of the classroom.

For Fall 2012, the Outstanding Graduate is Brad Inderbitzen from Alpharetta, GA. Please join us in congratulating Brad for this achievement.

December 2012

December 2012 Graduates

December 2012 IPT graduates at the December 20 IPT Luncheon
(L to R)
Allison Sesnon (Boise, ID), Ellen Lemanski (Mount Horeb, WI),
Rob Shaw (Boise, ID) and Robert Flannery (Boise, ID)

See More Photos…

December 17, 2012

Paula Anderson

IPT graduate Paula Anderson’s (’08) article New Training for New Legal Secretary Roles was published in the December 2012 issue of Peer-to-Peer Magazine, a quarterly magazine of the International Legal Technology Association.

November 15, 2012

Linda Huglin

In the current issue of Performance Improvement Quarterly (PIQ), the article, “Content Analysis of the 20 most influential HPT articles” identifies Dr. Linda Huglin’s (2009) HPT roots and branches: Analyzing over 45 years of the field’s own citations: Part 1. Journal Citations. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 21(4), 95-115 as one of the 20 most influential HPT articles.

November 9, 2012

The Department of Instructional & Performance Technology (IPT) at Boise State University invites applications for a nine-month tenure track faculty position at the assistant or associate professor level to work on campus to develop and teach online graduate courses, with a focus on workplace instructional design and e-learning development. Candidates with an interest and demonstrated track record in conducting research are highly desired.

Read the full PDF document here.

November 2012

Anthony Marker

Anthony Marker, associate professor in the Department of Instructional and Performance Technology, presented his research findings at two conferences this fall. At the U.S. Coast Guard Human Performance Technology Workshop held in September in Hampton, Va., Marker presented a session titled “Moving Beyond Gilbert’s BEM: The Synchronized Analysis Model (SAM).” (For the uninitiated, Gilbert’s Behavior Engineering Model (BEM) was presented in his landmark book “Human Competence: Engineering Worthy Performance,” in which he proposes distinguishing between accomplishment and behavior, defines “worthy performance,” and identifies methods for determining the potential for improving performance.) Marker’s session presented an updated model for identifying and classifying causes for why people perform lower than desired in the workplace, and how we might distinguish between the symptoms and actual root causes of those performance problems.

On Oct. 3, Marker presented a session titled “Wisdom in the Workplace” in Lisbon, Portugal, at the 10th annual Conference for the International Society of Performance Improvement/Europe, The Middle East and Africa. This session focused on summarizing recent neuroscience studies related to emotional regulation, decision making, mindfulness, dealing with uncertainty and ethics, and examined how we might apply some of those findings in the workplace.

November 2012

Karen Meister

Congratulations to IPT student Karen Meister on her selection as the fall 2012 recipient of the Excellence in IPT Practice Award.

The Excellence in IPT Practice Award is presented twice a year to an individual in the IPT master’s degree program who is an exemplary learner, has used evidence-based practices in his or her work, and has made important contributions to the IPT professional community beyond the classroom.

Outstanding student Lorraine Zank was also nominated for the award.

Selecting a winner was not an easy task because each is an exemplary learner, uses evidence-based practices, and makes important contributions to the IPT community. In the end, Karen was selected because of her use of course projects as opportunities to expand her skills and her reflective and insightful participation in class discussions.

Congratulations to all the individuals who were nominated and congratulations to the fall 2012 Excellence in IPT Practice Award recipient Karen Meister.

September 2012

Don Winiecki

Dr. Anthony Marker presented Moving Beyond Gilbert’s BEM: The Synchronized Analysis Model (SAM) at the 2012 United States Coast Guard Human Performance Technology, September 12-14. While in VA, Dr. Marker met with IPT alumni and students from the area for dinner.

Thanks IPT folks for face-to-face time!

October 25, 2012

Don Stepich and Steve Villachica

Dr. Don Stepich and Dr. Steve Villachica presented “Using Job-Focus Objectives To Improve Transfer to the Workplace” at the ASTD Utah Chapter 2012 conference “The Changing Frontier of Learning”.

October 11, 2012

Attend the luncheon meeting held by ASTD Boise from 11:30 – 1:00 pm on Wednesday October 25 at the University of Phoenix campus for a program about Change Management by Tim Cormier. He will present a real hands-on approach which includes the steps: preparing for change, managing change and reinforcing change.

October 8, 2012

Don Winiecki

Don Winiecki, professor in the Department of Instructional & Performance Technology and IPT graduate Glen Scott (2012) had their paper “Synthesizing Soft Systems Methodology and Human Performance Technology” published in Performance Improvement Quarterly, 25(3), 81-105. “This article looks at the paradigms most commonly used to explain performance environments, both within HPT and by those from other fields. From this a synthesized approach to solving perceived problems in performance environments is provided that introduces Soft Systems Methodology to the HPT practitioner…” For the full article, go to:

October 5, 2012

Bobbie Allaire

IPT graduate Bobbie Allaire ’93 will receive the Alumni Service Award at Boise State University 2012 Presidential Alumni Recognition Gala on October 19. Recipients of this award are honored for their extraordinary dedication and commitment, demonstrated through volunteer service to the Alumni Association or the university. Read more:

August 23, 2012

Don WinieckiMichael Blain

Don Winiecki, professor in the Department of Instructional & Performance Technology and adjunct faculty in the Department of Sociology, and Michael Blain, professor in the Department of Sociology, presented several papers at the 2012 American Sociological Association conference in Denver, Colorado.

Winiecki presented his paper titled “The Expert Witnesses and Courtroom Discourse: Membership Categorization Devices and the Creation of the Subject and Subjectivity”. This paper also has been published in the Peer Reviewed journal Discourse & Society. This paper reports an analysis of expert witness testimony in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District court case in which Intelligent Design was found not to be a scientific theory and thus not appropriate for instruction in high school science courses.

Winiecki and Blain presented their paper titled “Mapping Conversation Patterns in the Asynchronous, Computer-Mediated Classroom.” This paper also has been published in the peer reviewed journal International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. The paper reports an analysis and a mapping of different kinds of conversation-like interaction in asynchronous online instruction.

July 23, 2012

Rebecca Bodrero

IPT adjunct faculty member Rebecca Bodrero had an article “Google+ Hangout in Online Education: A capable, low-cost solution” published in Learning Solutions Magazine.

July 16, 2012

Dr. Anthony Marker photo

Dr. Anthony Marker presented “Sustainable Organizations: Managing the Change and Changing the Measures” at the July 2012 Snake River Chapter meeting of the American Society of Safety Engineers in Boise, ID.

July 5, 2012

July 2012 Provant-Robishaw photo

IPT graduate Corinna Provant-Robishaw hired by Boise State

eCampus Center (formerly Distance Education) in Extended Studies welcomes Corinna Provant-Robishaw as an instructional design consultant supporting the growth of fully online courses and programs offered at Boise State. Her instructional design skills will be just part of the support offered in two requests for proposals currently available for faculty and staff to review at

Provant-Robishaw has a master’s degree in instructional and performance technology from Boise State and a bachelor’s degree in political science/minor in German from Southwest Texas State University. She comes to Boise State from eBay Inc. where she applied her German language skills by supporting eBay’s global leadership team as an instructional designer. Provant-Robishaw also worked as an instructional designer for American Express, and Media-Vox, where she designed and developed training modules for a large construction company to become LEED certified.

May 12, 2012

May 2012 Outstanding Graduate Annette Wisniewski

May 2012 Outstanding IPT Graduate

Each May and December, the IPT Program Committee reviews the list of students graduating from the IPT master’s degree program during the preceding semester and selects an individual to receive the Outstanding Graduate Award. Selection for this award is based on earned GPA, performance on the portfolio defense, and contributions to the IPT community, both within and beyond the classroom. The winner of the award is announced during the IPT dinner the evening before the commencement and receives a plaque.

For May 2012, the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Award is Annette Wisniewski. Please join us in congratulating Annette.

April 21, 2012

2012 Toronto Conference photo

IPT students, alumni and faculty that attended the 2012 Performance Improvement conference in April met for the annual IPT Breakfast meeting Sunday, April 21.

Front Row (L to R): Leslie Harper, Bryan Horveath, John Wyville, Steve Villachica, Karen Carleton, Mary Arsenault, Al Crain, and Laura Flanagan
Back Row (L to R): Brett Christensen, Scott Casad, Don Stepich, Bill Blunt, Kimberly Betty, Barb Spice, Pam Holtz and Gin Lupton.

April 18, 2012

Drs Stepich and Villachica will be presenting “Using Job-Focused Objectives to Improve Learning Transfer” at 1:30 pm on Saturday, April 21 at The Performance Improvement Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For those unable to attend or would like a preview , here is the presentation and slides.

April 16, 2012

IPT alum Kelly Weak ’09, and manager of guest services for Boise State University Housing, presented a session titled “Elevate Your Team: From Recruitment to Retention of Quality Staff” at the 32nd annual conference for the Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors-International (ACCED-I) held in Denver, CO. The session discussed the use of intentional evaluation/program assessment and planning to ensure congruence with discrete job tasks to the overall departmental mission.

April 6, 2012

IPT student Eboni DuBose received the John Coné Scholarship from the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), the world’s largest association dedicated to the training and development field.

The John Coné Scholarship is presented to students studying the human resource development field at the post secondary level. ASTD presents six one-year membership scholarships and one scholarship for a student to attend the society’s annual conference which attracts thousands of learning and development professional from around the world. The membership and conference scholarships provide access to research, content, and resources relevant to the workplace learning profession.

“There is ample research that shows that membership in professional associations is correlated with professional success, and ASTD is proud to award this scholarship to deserving graduate students.” said Gina Urgena, Sr. Director in charge of academic services at ASTD.

The John Coné Scholarship is named after one of ASTD’s most respected members and champions. Mr. Coné established the scholarship to nurture the professional development of students seeking to enter the learning and development field.

April 5, 2012

Allen Communication Learning Services, Inc is seeking instructional design interns. For more information on this opportunity, please visit their website at:

April 4, 2012

Perri Kennedy Thesis Defense
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
12:00 PM – 2:30 PM MDT

Training Professionals’ Usage and Understanding of Kirkpatrick’s Level 3 and Level 4 Evaluations

Abstract: Evaluating workforce training at Kirkpatrick’s Level 3 (job-related behaviors) and Level 4 (business outcomes) can provide organizations with substantive proof of the value of the training. Despite this, training programs are not often evaluated at these levels. This study examined the frequency with which training professionals conduct Level 3 and Level 4 evaluations as well as their perceptions of the utility of evaluation and the factors which help or hinder their attempts to perform such evaluations.

Through an online survey of training professionals followed by interviews with selected survey participants, the survey participants reported that they conduct about 45.5% of training programs at Level 3 and about 18.5% at Level 4. They identified that resource availability, managerial support, and expertise in evaluative methodology were the three key factors which impacted evaluation efforts. The interview data supported the survey findings, but also indicated that training professionals may have varied interpretations of what Level 4 encompasses.

March 28, 2012

The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) is pleased to announce the Twenty-Third Annual I/ITSEC Graduate Student Scholarships. Scholarships are being offered at a Masters level in the amount $5,000, and at a Doctoral level in the amount of $10,000. The scholarships are being offered to stimulate student interest and university participation in preparing individuals for leadership in the Modeling & Simulation, Training and Education communities. In the event that suitable candidates for one level are not identified, funds may be combined to provide two awards at the same level of study. The scholarship recipient (s) will attend I/ITSEC ’12 (December 3-6, 2012) at the expense of the I/ITSEC organization, where he or she will be recognized, view the latest in simulation, training and education technologies and meet leading figures from Government, Industry and Academia associated with this community.

March 27, 2012

Population Services International (PSI) the world’s learning non-profit social marketing organization, seeks a performance improvement evaluation intern and a marketing academy intern. The positions are full-time and paid. Click on the hyperlinked intern position names for position descriptions and application instructions.

March 1, 2012

IPT alum Cathy Brown (’04) and Brett Christensen (’10) have been elected to ISPI’s 2012-2014 Board of Directors. Congratulations IPT Alum!

Access Group, a leading health care communications network announces the hiring of IPT student Bryan Horveath, as Executive Vice President and Practice Lead for S3, Strategic Selling Solutions.

February 17, 2012

The IPT department announces changes to its master’s degree and certificate programs

Beginning with the fall 2012 semester, we’re making important changes to the requirements for the IPT master’s degree (MSIPT), Human Performance Technology (HPT) certificate, and Workplace E-Learning and Performance Support (WELPS) certificate.

MS in IPT – We added a requirement to take at least one course on research methods
HPT GC – We deleted one course and added two organizational development courses.
WELPS GC – We added IPT536 and focused on four specific e-learning courses.

As a result of these changes in program requirements, we’ve eliminated several IPT courses. After this summer, the following courses will no longer be offered by the IPT Department:
IPT510 Collaborative Online Communication and Learning
IPT511 Synchronous E-Learning in the Workplace
IPT540 Applications of Learning Styles in IPT
IPT561 Human Factors Engineering
IPT563 Job Aids and Electronic Performance Support
IPT564 Motivation in IPT
IPT574 Performance Consulting
IPT575 Project Management
IPT576 Organizational Culture and Alignment
IPT583 Selected Topics in Instructional Technology
IPT584 Selected Topics: Applications of Web Technologies (Flash and Dreamweaver)

Please understand that these changes are part of our continuous work to improve the quality of our programs. We want to provide every individual with the best possible learning experience in order to carry out our mission to develop HPT professionals who can engineer instructional and performance interventions to solve organization problems based on three ideas:

  • Sound solutions are based on careful analysis
  • Complex problems require multi-disciplinary solutions
  • Professional practices is informed by knowledge from diverse fields

We understand that these changes will affect some of you. However, we’re ready and more than willing to help you look at your program plans and consider all of your options. Summer registration begins on February 21 and fall registration begins on April 2, so this is a good time to think about your program plans. If you have any questions or concerns about how these changes in program requirements affect you, please don’t hesitate to contact Jo Ann Fenner at or 208-426-2489 or Don Stepich at or 208-426-2339.

January 27, 2012

photo Villachica and Lundberg

IPT student Christin Lundberg and IPT faculty member Steve Villachica met at last week’s ASTD’s 2012 TechKnowledge conference in Las Vegas, NV.

January 23, 2012

Rebecca Bodrero photo Kim Bahr photo

IPT Adjunct Rebecca Bodrero and IPT alum Kim Bahr (’06) wrote the feature article in Learning Solutions Magazine! “Case Study: Engaging Learning in the Synchronous Distance Environment.”
Read the article at

October 25, 2011

Laura Flanagan photo

Congratulations to IPT student Laura Flanagan on her selection as the fall 2011 recipient of the Excellence in IPT Practice Award.

The Excellence in IPT Practice Award is presented twice a year to an individual in the IPT master’s degree program who is an exemplary learner, has used evidence-based practices in his or her work, and has made important contributions to the IPT professional community beyond the classroom.

Several outstanding individuals were nominated for the award:

  • Stephanie Clark, Boise, ID
  • Laura Flanagan, Madison, WI
  • Annette Wisniewski, Gurnee, IL

Selecting a winner from among these individuals was not an easy task because each is an exemplary learner, uses evidence-based practices, and makes important contributions to the IPT community. In the end, Laura was selected because of her use of course projects as opportunities to expand her skills and her reflective and insightful participation in class discussions.

Congratulations to all the individuals who were nominated and congratulations to the fall 2011 Excellence in IPT Practice Award recipient Laura Flanagan.

October 12, 2011

IPT Associate Professors, Dr. Don Stepich and Dr. Steve Villachica presented “Using Job-Focused Objectives to Improve Transfer to the Workplace” at the 5th Annual ASTD Cascadia Regional Conference held October 11 -12, 2011 in Salem, OR. See conference and presentation hand-out.

September 24, 2011

IPT Associate Professor Dr. Anthony Marker presented “Why Do People Resist Change and What To Do About It” at the 9th Annual ISPI-Europe Conference held September 22-24, 2011 in Skopje, Macedonia. See the conference hand-out.

September 22, 2011

Iris Nunn photo

IPT student Iris Nunn presented “Training Value Questionnaire” at the 2011 ASTD Houston Annual Conference and Exposition. Prior to her presentation, Iris had the opportunity to meet with Jim Kirkpatrick. Iris Nunn shared with him the IPT tool she created based on Kirkpatrick’s ROE model. Her presentation was a success and her meeting with Jim Kirkpatrick resulted in her presentation being published in the Kirkpatrick Community Newsletter and the Official Kirkpatrick Blog. Congratulations Iris!

May 14, 2011

Don Stepich & Leslie Harper photo

Each May and December, the IPT Program Committee reviews the list of students graduating from the master’s degree program during the preceding semester and selects a graduate to receive the Outstanding Graduate Award. Selection is based on earned GPA, performance on the culminating activity, and contributions to the IPT community, both within and beyond the classroom. The outstanding graduate is announced at the IPT dinner the evening before commencement and given a plaque.

This May 2011 there were four nominees; Leslie Harper, Jade Kazmierski, Ayanne Levy, and Josephine Poelma. The May 2011 Outstanding Graduate Award recipient is Leslie Harper.

Congratulations May 2011 nominees and Outstanding Graduate Award Recipient Leslie Harper!

May 13, 2011

photo May 11 graduates

Congratulations IPT Graduates and Certificate recipients!

Twelve of the 19 May ’11 graduates came to Boise State for the IPT Graduation Dinner on May 13 and to walk in the commencement ceremony on May 14. Five of the 14 certificate recipients were also in attendance and recognized at the IPT dinner.

Back row left to right: Drew Borresen (MS & WIDe-GC), Michael Rogers (MS & WIDe-GC), Dr. Barnes, Dr. Cox, Dr. Chyung, Dr. Stepich, Interim COEN Dean Moll, Dr. Villachica, Dr. Winiecki, Darrell Kohlmann (MS), Laurie Toyama (MS), Elaine Nakamura (MS), Leslie Harper (MS & HPT-GC).
Front row left to right: Randy Kirk (MS), Pat Ferrell (MS), Joanne Letourneau (MS), Kris Marchini (HPT-GC), Ayanne Levy (MS), Holly Kersey (MS), Keith Steinbach (MS), Cindy Stanton (HPT-GC).

April 13, 2011

April 10-13 the IPT Nation convened at the 2011 Performance Improvement Conference in Orlando, FL.

April 12, 2011

At the 2011 ISPI Performance Improvement conference Drs. Stepich and Villachica presented “Surviving Troubled Times: Five Strategies for Training Professionals.” See presentation overview, slides, PCA worked example, and IP worked example.

Dr. Huglin and IPT students Shannon Rist and Bob Casper presented “Is Your Online Training Accessible.”

February 28, 2011

photo May 11 graduates

Congratulations to IPT student Christin Lundberg on her selection as the spring 2011 recipient of the Excellence in IPT Practice Award.

The “Excellence in IPT Practice Award” is presented twice a year to a student in the IPT master’s degree program who is an exemplary learner, has used evidence-based practices in his/her work, and has made important contributions to the IPT professional community beyond the classroom.

The Instructional & Performance Technology department received seven nominations for spring 2011 and the nominees were:

  • Leslie Harper, Denver, CO
  • Perri Kennedy, Silver Spring, MD
  • Ayanne Levy, Portland, OR
  • Christin Lundberg, Eden Prairie, MN
  • Kris Marchini, Stansbury, UT
  • Chester Stevenson, Columbia, GA
  • Julie Thomas, Roswell, GA

Selecting a winner was not an easy task because each of the nominees demonstrated characteristics of an exemplary learner, incorporated evidence-based practices in their work, and made valuable contributions to the IPT communities of practice. In the end, however, the Committee selected Christin because of her leadership on course project and the variety of her published contributions (which were co-authored with other IPT students), including:

  • Two PerformanceXpress articles; Needs assessment on service center technicians billable hours (April, 2010) and Evaluating a retail management operations training program (September, 2010).
  • An article published in the Performance Improvement Journal; Data gathering and analysis for needs assessment: A Case Study (September, 2010).

Congratulations spring 2011 Excellence in IPT Practice nominees! And congratulations Christin Lundberg the recipient of the spring 2011 Excellence in IPT Practice Award.

December 17, 2010

2010 Graduation dinner

December 2010 IPT Graduation Dinner. Front row: IPT Grads Lisa Jacobson, Ed MacDougall, Edna Padilla and Ted McCalebb.

October 5, 2010

Congratulations to IPT student Barb Spice on her selection as the fall 2010 recipient of the Excellence in IPT Practice Award.

The Instructional & Performance Technology department received five nominations and the nominees were:

  • Diana Fenicottero, Boise, ID
  • Leslie, Harper, Denver, CO
  • Christin Lundberg, Eden Prairie, MN
  • Glen Scott, Boise, ID
  • Barb Spice, Middlebury, IN

Selecting a winner was not an easy task because each of the nominees demonstrated characteristics of an exemplary learner, incorporated evidence-based practices in their work, and made valuable contributions to the IPT communities of practice. In the end, however, the Committee was impressed by the variety of Barb Spice’s contributions, including:

  • Three PerformanceXpress articles (October 2009, February 2010, and October 2010)
  • A co-authored article accepted for publication in the January 2011 issue of Performance Improvement Journal
  • An Armed Forces webinar on needs assessment methods and tools

Congratulation nominees and congratulations Fall 2010 recipient of the Excellence in IPT Practice Award, Barb Spice!

September 30, 2010

Dr. Marker is presenting “An Introduction to Systems Thinking and Tools for HPT Practitioners” at the ISPI-EMEA conference in Sweden. The session will present some of the basic concepts and tools that allow HPT practitioners to use systems thinking to address complex problems.

September 29, 2010

Nominees for the 2010 Excellence in IPT Practice Award are: Diana Fenicottero, Leslie Harper, Christine Lundberg, Glen Scott, and Barb Spice. Congratulations nominees!

September 28, 2010

Drs. Huglin, Plumlee, and Villachica were awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for their Engineering Education: Research to Practice project proposal. The project will take an existing senior mechanical engineering design class and revise it to incorporate problem-based learning strategies. An outcome of this project will be the creation of a university cross-disciplinary team that will serve as a sounding board to other faculty incorporating constructivist strategies in their course design.

September 24, 2010

IPT students Christine Lundberg, Jennifer Elderman, Patricia Ferrell, and Leslie Harper have an article “Data Gathering and Analysis for Needs Assessment: A Case Study” published in the September 2010 issue of Performance Improvement.

September 17, 2010

Drs. Villachica and Stepich have an article “Surviving Troubled Times: Five Best Practices for Training Professionals” published in Performance Improvement Quarterly, 23( 2) 93-115.

September 15, 2010

Dr. Chyung is co-principle investigator of “Rising Cloud” research. Read more.

August 19, 2010

IPT department hosts a Jump Start your fall 2010 semester.

June 4, 2010

Dr. Winiecki’s article “Rational, Natural, and Open: Organizational System Typologies and Their Relevance for Performance Improvement Professionals” is published in the May/June 2010 issue of Performance Improvement.

April 30, 2010

IPT’s Dr. Yonnie Chyung was selected as the College of Engineering’s 2010 Professor of the Year!

April 29, 2010

IPT Community make a substantial contribution to the 2010 International Society for Performance Technology (ISPI) conference held in April 19-22 in San Francisco, CA. Read the story in UPDATE.

April 22, 2010

2010 competition photo

A team of four Instructional & Performance Technology (IPT) students earned third place in the second annual University Case Study Competition. The competition was part of the International Society Performance Improvement conference April 19-22 in San Francisco, CA. Read the story in UPDATE.

April 6, 2010

Linda Burnett photo

Linda Burnett has been selected as the “Outstanding Classified Employee” for 2010 by the Boise State University Association of Classified Employees (ACE). This award is designed to recognize a member of the Boise State University staff who has demonstrated outstanding service to the university. The IPT department congratulates Linda on receiving this well-deserved award and appreciates her valued service to the university, the department, and the IPT student body. Read the story in UPDATE.

March 9, 2010

IPT graduate Natalia Muller ’05 is the co-author of Seven Cures to Skipping the Needs Assessment published in the March 2010 issue of T + D.

March 2, 2010

Dr. Anthony Marker was a co-principal investigator of a groundbreaking report on Green Building in the Pacific Northwest: Next Steps for an Emerging Trend. Read the story in UPDATE. Watch the interview video:

February 25, 2010

The Instructional & Performance Technology department received three nominations for the Spring 2010 Excellence in IPT Practice Award. The nominees were:

  • Brett Christensen, Learning Projects Manager at the Canadian Defence Academy in Kingston Ontario, Canada
  • Erica Smith, Learning and Development Manager at Northern Tool + Equipment in Minneapolis, MN, and
  • Barbara Spice, Principle at HRchitecture, LLC in Middlebury, IN

The purposes of the competitive Excellence in IPT Practice Award are to promote the development of foundation knowledge and skills, the application of evidence-based practices, and to recognize exemplary students in the IPT master’s degree program.

Selecting a winner was not an easy task because each of the nominees demonstrated characteristics of an exemplary learner, incorporated evidence-based practices in their work, and made valuable contributions to the IPT communities of practice. In the end, however, the Committee was impressed by the variety of Brett Christensen’s contributions, including:

  • An article in the July 2009 issue of Performance Improvement
  • Two PerformanceXpress articles (October 2009 and February 2010)
  • A presentation at the 2009 ISPI conference
  • Leadership of the ISPI Armed Forces Chapter
  • Congratulations to the nominees and congratulations Spring 2010 recipient of the Excellence in IPT Practice Award, Brett Christensen.

    December 24, 2009

    IPT537 Instructional Design course projects featured in university news publication. Read the story in UPDATE.

    December 18, 2009

    Twenty-six students graduated in August/December 2009. Congratulations! On December 17, 2009 nine IPT graduates joined the IPT faculty and staff at a dinner honoring their accomplishments.

    December 19, 2009

    The Instructional & Performance Technology Department at Boise State University was again invited to participate in the second annual Case Study Competition sponsored by the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI). In the competition, teams of students from 8 universities will analyze an authentic case, write a proposal describing their solutions for the overarching business issues in the case, and make a presentation to the “clients” during the 2010 ISPI Conference in San Francisco. The four IPT students selected for the IPT team are: James Bishop (South Jordan, UT), Jennifer Budveit (Bay Shore, NY), Diana Fennicottero (Boise, ID), and Glen Scott (Boise, ID).

    October 2, 2009

    2009 ASTD BEST award winner is Sun Microsystems, where IPT alum Karie Willyerd ’97 is Vice President and Chief Learning Officer.

    July 8, 2009

    Members of the summer 2009 ‘Sustainability’ class, examining concrete ways that individuals and organizations can reduce climate change, stand in front of a thermal solar collector on a rooftop in Boise, ID.

    June 23, 2009

    IPT students Brett Christensen, Kayleen Grage, Michael Hajba, and Barb Spice presented to the ISPI Armed Forces Chapter a webinar on Needs Assessment Methods and Tools.

    April 19, 2009

    IPT faculty, Drs. Chyung, Huglin, and Villachica, and IPT students/alumni, Bill Piersol, Joe Wetterling, Jessica Downing, Brett Christensen, Carlos Diaz and Daniel Hardin presented at ISPI’s annual Performance Improvement Conference in Orlando, FL in April 19-22. IPT students, Lori Johnecheck, Jennifer O’Hartigan, Carlos Diaz, and Marc Donelson also participated in ISPI Case Study Competition. See the information presented on the back cover of Performance Improvement Conference Program.

    April 10, 2009

    IPT faculty Dr. Winiecki presented 3 papers at the 2008 meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association (PSA), San Diego, CA:

    ‘Using Ethnographic Forms of Research to Study the Social World and Make Social Theories Studyable’ – a chapter to appear in an upcoming book on contemporary uses of ethnographic research. This presentation described how ethnographic research can be used to study the creation of social scientific knowledge by professional sociologists.

    `Mixing Academic and Applied Sociology’ – experiences he had when communicating academic social science to corporate sponsors of the research.

    `Discourse/Rationality, A New Frame for Power/Knowledge?’ – a forecast of how an established critical social science framework can be used to communicate to individuals accustomed to economic rationality as a framework for inspecting and accounting for the social world.

    March 24, 2009

    IPT alumna Lesa Becker ’02 will be presenting her doctoral research “The Impact of Organizational Information Overload on Managers: Making Knowledge Work More Productive in the 21st Century” at the annual conference of the Information Overload Research Group. Her research was also featured in an article on their website

    March 13, 2009

    IPT alumnus Jay Lambert ’06 presented Flash Does Not Replace Sound Instructional Design at the Training 2009 conference in Atlanta, GA held February 9-11, 2009.

    March 10, 2009

    IPT alumna Joann Swanson ’06 was one of three to receive third place in the national ‘Articulate Guru Awards’ contest. This contest was for instructional designers to develop an online course using the latest version of Articulate. Her course was called “Creative Visualization” and competed with more than 110 instructional designer submissions from across the country. To view her award-winning online course, go to:

    March 2, 2009

    IPT alumna Shelley Berg ’08 and Dr. Seung Youn (Yonnie) Chyung’s research “Factors that influence informal learning in the workplace” published in the Journal of Workplace Learning has been chosen as an Outstanding Paper Award Winner at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2009. The award winning papers are chosen following consultation amongst the journal’s Editorial Team. The Journal of Workplace Learning is published by Emerald, the internationally-recognized publisher of business and management research.

    February 9, 2009

    IPT Alum Janet Emery ’03 is presenting “Executive Insights: Decision Support Tools-New Ways to Create e-Learning” at the E-Learning Guild’s 2009 Annual Gathering held March 10-13 in Orlando, FL.

    January 23, 2009

    December ’08 graduate Shelley Berg’s thesis research “Analyzing Leaders’ Perceptions to Enhance the Use of an Employee Engagement Survey” has been selected for the Outstanding Student Research category of the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) 2009 Awards of Excellence program. Congratulations, Shelley!

    January 22, 2009

    Instructional & Performance Technology (IPT) Assistant Professor Linda Huglin published an article entitled “HPT Roots and Branches: Analyzing Over 45 Years of the Field’s Own Citations. Part 1: Journal Citations” in the January 2009 issue of Performance Improvement Quarterly (PIQ), an International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) publication.

    Don Stepich, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Instructional & Performance Technology (IPT), in collaboration with colleagues Peggy Ertmer, Sara Flanagan, Aslihan Kocaman-Karoglu, Christian Reiner, Lisette Reyes, Adam Santone, and Shigetake Ushigusa from Purdue University, co-authored an article entitled “Impact of Guidance on the Problem-Solving Efforts of Instructional Design Novices.” The article appears in the January 2009 issue of Performance Improvement Quarterly (PIQ), an International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) publication.

    Instructional & Performance Technology (IPT) Assistant Professor Anthony Marker was elected to the Idaho Chapter Board of Directors for the U.S. Green Building Council. USGBC Idaho is a charitable organization seeking to promote sustainable design in the State of Idaho through education and advocacy.

    December 18, 2008

    Thirteen students graduated in December 2008. Congratulations! On December 18, 2008 three IPT graduates joined the IPT faculty and staff at a dinner honoring their accomplishment.

    October 29, 2008

    Last week the Association of Real Estate License Law Offices (ARELLO) awarded their 2008 Education Award to the Idaho Real Estate Commission (IREC) for eight 4-hour training courses that were developed by the Commission for licensed real estate agents. IREC staff and subject matter experts along with a team of 4 Instructional & Performance Technology graduate students, Kelly Brooks, Stephanie Clark, Sheila McCray, and Ron Walton, and IPT alumna, Marsha Helm ’01, designed and developed the training courses during the spring 2007 semester. ARELLO is an international association of real estate regulators from all 50 states, the Canadian provinces, and several foreign countries.

    October 24, 2008

    ISPI has invited the IPT department to participate in the 2009 ISPI Case Study Competition.

    October 23, 2008

    Donald Winiecki, professor of instructional & performance technology in the College of Engineering and adjunct professor of sociology, has recently published an article in Discourse & Society journal. The paper, titled “The expert witnesses and courtroom discourse: Applying micro and macro forms of discourse analysis to study process and the ‘doings of doings’ for individuals and for society,” is a report of research on the intersection of science and law as it occurred in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial in Pennsylvania in 2005.

    October 17, 2008

    Eleven Years After Graduating, Alum Visit Campus for First Time. In 1997, New Yorker Robert Clune earned a master’s degree in Instructional & Performance Technology (IPT) without ever setting foot on campus.

    September 9, 2008

    The IPT department announces that it will offer a new graduate certificate in Workplace E-Learning and Performance Support (WELPS), starting Spring 2009.

    July 9, 2008

    Consumer Seal of Approval

    The IPT online program receives the Best Distance Learning Graduate School Seal of Approval from for providing accessible and quality education through innovative delivery methods coupled with fiscally responsive practices.

    July 9, 2008

    Republic Polytechnic in Singapore workshop

    Dr. Winiecki presented a workshop to faculty and staff at the Republic Polytechnic in Singapore. The workshop addressed Sociology of Science and Technology. He also consulted with their curriculum development staff to help incorporate social science concepts into their curriculum and to begin planning for an evaluation of their ‘problem based learning’ (PBL) curriculum.

    June 1, 2008

    IPT alumni, Shaunda Paden, publishes her article “I wish I’d thought of that!” in ISPI’s newsletter, PerformanceXpress.

    June 1, 2008

    IPT department starts publishing a column ‘Tales from the Field’ in ISPI’s monthly newsletter, PerformanceXpress. The column articles are reports of evidence-based performance improvement practice and advice , presented by IPT students, alumni, and faculty. The June issue featured an article by IPT graduate, Brian Ronald, and IPT faculty, Dr. Tony Marker (titled ‘Using the SAM for Cause Analysis in County Community and Family Services’).

    May 29, 2008

    IPT at Hanyang Universtiy

    Drs. Chyung and Winiecki presented at the 3rd inter-institutional seminar with Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea. About 40 graduate students and faculty at Hanyang University attended the seminar.

    May 17, 2008

    IPT 2008 Graduates

    Eighteen IPT students graduated in May 2008. And the first HPT Graduate Certificate was awarded (the HPT Graduate Certificate program started in Fall 2007). Congratulations!

    May 1, 2008

    Dr. Don Winiecki, IPT associate professor and adjunct professor of Sociology, has authored a chapter “Using Ethnographic Forms of Research to Study the Social World and To Make Social Theories Studyable” to appear in an upcoming collection titled “Contemporary Studies in Ethnography” to be published by Nova Science Publishers.

    April 24, 2008

    Shelley Berg photo

    At the 4th Annual COEN Awards ceremony, IPT Graduate Assistant Shelley Berg was awarded an ‘Honorary Materials Scientist’ award for developing a series of e-learning tutorials for the Materials Science and Engineering department.

    April 13, 2008

    IPT Associate Professor, Dr. Donald Winiecki, presented his papers, The expert witness and courtroom discourse: A case of applying both micro and macro forms of discourse analysis and An ethnostatistical analysis of performance measurement at the 2008 meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association (PSA) in Portland, OR.

    April 12, 2008

    Kevin Taylor & Dr. Chyung photo

    Dr. Chyung and IPT student Kevin Taylor presented at Rocky Mountain Psychological Association conference in Boise, ID.

    April 5, 2008

    IPT April 2008 photo

    April is a busy month for IPT faculty and students! Drs. Chyung, Huglin, Marker and Villachica and 7 IPT students (Shelley Berg, Kevin Taylor, Randy Kirk, Joanne Letourneau, Joe Wetterling, Brian Ronald, and Marc Donelson) presented at ISPI annual conference in New York.

    April 5, 2008

    IPT April 2008 -2 photo

    Three IPT alumni, Janet Emery, David Barnes, and Tony Gonzalez and a current IPT student, Kris Benny, were the recipient of the 2008 ISPI Award of Excellence. For more information about their project at DIRECTV.

    April 5, 2008

    IPT Adjunct faculty, Dr. Diane Gayeski, was the recipient of ISPI’s 2008 Thomas Gilbert Award for Professional Achievement. Dr. Gayeski also presented a Masters Series at the 2008 annual Performance Improvement conference on The Workforce of the Future.

    April 1, 2008

    Dr. Seung Youn (Yonnie) Chyung, IPT associate professor, has published a textbook titled Foundations of Instructional and Performance Technology, by HRD Press.